Rolling Stock in Shoreditch shut for three months over illegal late opening that ‘led to fatal stabbing outside’

Rolling Stock in Shoreditch:Picture Ken Mears

Rolling Stock in Shoreditch:Picture Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

The owner of a Shoreditch club who defied police to stay open until 6am on the night Zakaria Bukar Sharif Ali was murdered outside claims he hadn’t seen the email telling him not to.

Murder victim Zakaria Bukar Sharif Ali. Picture: MPS

Murder victim Zakaria Bukar Sharif Ali. Picture: MPS - Credit: MPS

Rolling Stock licensee Byron Evans had applied for a temporary event notice (TEN) to open past his 3am licensing hours for a Romanian DJ event the night Zakaria was killed – but it was opposed by licensing cops because no risk assessment had been submitted.

Shortly after the club in Shoreditch High Street closed on November 24, the 26-year-old father of two was stabbed to death as he tried to break up a fight outside between two groups of men who had also been in the bar.

Pc Neal Hunwick called for its closure because “trading wilfully over their hours led to the death of the victim”.

At a licence review meeting at the town hall Mr Evans denied having seen or read the Met’s counter notice when it came through on his email a day before the event.

“Thursday is our busiest day,” he said. “We have deliveries and we aren’t always in front of the computers. We have artists turning up and sound checks to be done.”

Committee members did not ask him why he held the event if he thought the council had not responded to the application at all.

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He didn’t realise a stabbing had taken place outside when he left at 6.45am, taking staff out to breakfast.

Mr Evans presented police with a list of proposed changes to policy just before the meeting, and councillors decided to opt for a three-month suspension “as a sanction and to put things right” rather than outright closure.

When the bar reopens in May an increased number of door staff will search everyone who enters with a wand for weapons, and put their ID through a newly purchased scanner.

The previous licence only required random searches, and the suspects are believed by police “on the balance of probabilities” to have entered carrying the murder weapon.

Mr Evans was warned to stick to the licensing conditions for no entry after 2am. The suspects – one of whom has now fled the country – were allowed admission just an hour before the club shut.

Cllr Emma Plouvier said: “We don’t accept this as unlucky circumstance. There were failures.”