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Birmingham club has licence revoked after death of Stratford Town player Cody Fisher

THE Digbeth nightclub where Stratford Town footballer Cody Fisher died following a knife attack has had its licence revoked.

West Midlands Police said the Crane club had inadequate security measures which allowed a knife to be taken into the venue on Boxing Day, and raised concerns about widespread drug use.

Cody Fisher. Photo: STFC (62045381)
Cody Fisher. Photo: STFC (62045381)

The club’s licence was suspended for 28 days in December by Birmingham City Council following the death of Cody, 23, who was also a PE coach at St Gregory’s School in Stratford. On Tuesday (24th January) a licensing committee revoked the Crane’s licence.

Licence holder l Digital Arts Media Ltd can appeal, but will not be allowed to reopen while any appeal is considered.

Gary Grant, a barrister for West Midlands Police, said the Crane club’s ongoing operation posed “terrifying risks” to customers.

He said there was an inadequate search regime that not only allowed a knife inside the club, but also drugs. He said there was blatant use of illicit substances, leading to three people needing treatment for an “overdose of one drug or another”.

Mr Grant said: “Within just over three months, this venue is here facing a summary review, triggered by an individual being murdered inside the club. That, in itself, gives rise to rather terrifying risks involved in the operation of this venue.

“On Boxing Day, Cody Fisher was tragically killed inside the venue and in addition, when the police investigated, they discovered what can only be described as blatant and widespread drug use being unchallenged inside the premises.”

Mr Grant suggested there were two ways a knife and drugs could get inside the club: either from inadequate searches or over an unsecured perimeter wall.

The retiring of Cody Fisher's No.23 shirt at Stratford Town. Photo: Mark Williamson (62045384)
The retiring of Cody Fisher's No.23 shirt at Stratford Town. Photo: Mark Williamson (62045384)

“Either way, when you are running a venue expected to have several thousand people attending, those are not the sort of details that can be overlooked,” he said.

Nicholas Leviseur, barrister for the licence-holder, said revoking the licence would be inappropriate given the venue’s overall operational record.

Cody, from Studley, died from a knife attack. His No 23 shirt has been retired by Stratford Town, which has also set up a charity in his name.

Three men, aged between 18 and 22, have been charged with Mr Fisher’s murder.

A trial has been set for July.

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