Nighclub Stab Victim Named

Nightclub where it happened is refused longer licence

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The man killed last Sunday Morning outside the The Crescent Club in West Kensington has been named as Ali Toprak, aged 33.

The victim, who lived in Tottenham was stabbed at about 3am on Sunday in a brawl outside the club after it held a Turkish-themed 'Istanbul' night.

Two brothers from Tottenham, Bercin Kart, 20, and Berkan Kart, 22, have been charged with murder and appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on June 24. A third man was bailed to return to a police station in July.

Mr Toprak died in hospital about an hour after suffering a single stab wound to the chest.

Police are appealing for witnesses to contact Belgravia Police Station on 020 7321 9290 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council meanwhile has refused to give the Crescent Club a longer licence.

Mark Wale, director of Passion Nights Ltd, the owners of The Crescent Club, was told by the council's Licensing Sub-Committee that the bar would not be given an extension of its licensing hours.

The committee listened to angry residents who claimed The Crescent, which was initially intended to be a lap dancing club, was causing a rise in antisocial behaviour and disturbance in the area.

The club had applied to vary its hours so that it could stay open for an extra three hours until 5am from Thursday to Saturday, until 3am on all other weeknights and until 2am on a Sunday. A petition of 306 people supported the proposed new hours, but 273 local residents objected to the changes.

There were also objections from the Metropolitan Police to the club opening later than its current hours. Inspector Daniel Stobbart, from Shepherds Bush, said: " I searched back through records and since December 2008 – over the past six months – there has been an increase in public nuisance and disorder.

" Often police have been unable to attend because the incidents are happening in the small hours at weekends when all police units are already busy – this trend will worsen if the opening hours are extended. I do sympathise with the residents - the incidents have been relatively low but the impact has been high because of the timing of them."

Giving her verdict, Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, chairman of the licensing sub-committee, said: " The Panel have unanimously decided, in the light of the evidence and representations received, to refuse the application for a variation of licence."

Joe Carlebach, co-chair of the Avonmore & Brook Green Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel, has lived in the area for 16 years. He spoke on behalf of local residents at the meeting and was pleased with the decision.

" I am delighted that the licensing panel has recognised the genuine concerns and worries of local residents in rejecting this licensing extension application, " he said. " I do hope that the club will learn lessons from this and try and integrate itself better in the community.

" We’re not anti-business and we’re reasonable people but there are some things we simply cannot accept and this application was one of them. "

June 26, 2009