Hackney Wick nightclub Shapes closes its own doors following rape allegation
PUBLISHED: 17:27 27 July 2016 | UPDATED: 15:18 28 July 2016
A nightclub owner closed his own venue 24 hours before councillors were set to review its licence over an alleged rape at a private sex party.
Seb Glover, who ran Shapes in Hackney Wick, took the matter into his own hands and surrendered his licence on Monday, the Gazette can reveal.
A town hall meeting was scheduled for Tuesday night after police had called for the venue to be shut down over the alleged attack at an event run by promoter Kinky Salon in March.
A police report states the alleged victim and the attacker had both taken MDMA on the night in question and she was only able to stop the attack by claiming she needed the toilet.
Days later the woman contacted police who then asked for the CCTV from the club, but licensing officer Sgt Guy Hicks, who called the review, said the venue failed to assist in the investigation.
“I have never had a venue premise licence holder make such cynical attempts to avoid giving investigating officers CCTV,” he wrote in his report.
Sgt Hicks said he believed the CCTV was not recording and his “serious concerns” over Mr Glover’s ability to run the venue led to him calling a review.
In a statement sent to the Gazette through lawyers, Shapes said it didn’t accept any crime had taken place at the venue and was waiting for police to conclude their investigation. A spokeswoman said they had released the CCTV as soon as they received the “appropriate request” from officers.
She said the lease was due to end on July 31 anyway and the company “took a commercial view that, whilst wishing to defend its reputation at the hearing, the cost of doing so would be prohibitive.” She added police had not objected to temporary late-night licences for events as recent as this month, including the closing party on Saturday.