Ilford shooting: ‘Better management’ of Krystel could have prevented a 22-year-old being shot, police reveal
Better management of Ilford’s Krystel club could have prevented a 22-year-old being shot there on Sunday, it has been revealed.
Police have described a series of failings in how the nightspot in High Road, Ilford – the scene of a violent brawl - has been run.
They include the licence holder Mohibul Hoque, of Canterbury Avenue, Ilford, lying to police about CCTV footage; no CCTV cameras at the venue having worked in a year and events being advertised that flaunt the licensing regulations.
The shooting victim is in a stable condition in hospital after being involved in a fight inside the club, officially known as Krystel Banqueting.
There were also clashes outside on Sunday.
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The venue’s licence was suspended by Redbridge Council on Thursday until a full hearing takes place.
Bo-eun Jung, a barrister representing the Met Police, told the borough’s licensing sub-committee on Thursday: “A very serious incident occurred that could have been prevented with better management of the venue.”
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In a witness statement, Det Sgt Stephen Desmond, who is running the Operation Trident Gang Crime Command investigation, said the CCTV cameras had not worked since February 2011.
That is despite police talking to the management about CCTV just a month previously when a doorman was shot in a separate incident.
Mr Desmond said: “There was no evidence of power supply to camera units that were present inside the hall.”
Following Sunday’s shooting, Mr Hoque was briefly in the country before going to Bangladesh, in which time he spoke to officers.
Ms Jung said: “He [Mr Hoque] lied to police and said he had downloaded [CCTV footage] and it would not be available for some time.”
The security camera equipment was seized by police which led to the discovery that it wasn’t working.
The venue was hired by a third-party for a birthday bash on Saturday night and for a promotional event for a radio station called Mystic Radio Live.
Mr Hoque was paid �2,500 for the hall and �10 tickets were sold at the door.
The client hiring the venue has told police he was instructed by Mr Hoque to provide security, bar staff, food and alcohol.
Mr Hoque recommended a security firm.
Mr Desmond said: “Mohibul said that he is only responsible for providing the clients with the venue.”
Krystel is known for holding wedding functions but Pc John Brady, a Redbridge licensing officer, said in a statement: “It has become evident in recent times that a distinct change in business direction has taken place to include nightclub style of events that involve the leasing out of the hall.”
The Krystel Bar website boasts: “A club like no other, Krystel Bar continues to push the boundaries.
“With the best music from the greatest DJ’s, mixing with the best music and lighting available.”
One night - the Easter Sunday Night Out on April 8 - is still being advertised on the website of DJ Abass, who is on the line-up.
The now-suspended licence allowed alcohol to be served to 3am on Saturday and Sunday.
The venue could also stay open until 3.30am on both days.
The DJ Abass night is advertised until 5am and previous events on the Krystel Bar website are listed as staying open to 4.30am and 5am.
Sunday’s shooting took place around 4.40am when 100 people were still in the club and the shooting on New Year’s Day last year, in which the doorman was not seriously hurt, took place at 4am.
Ms Jung said: “We say this is an historic and ongoing lack of respect by the owner of these premises to abide by licensing conditions.
“Mr Hoque has left the country and that is the biggest indication of his not taking his responsibilities seriously.”
It has not been possible to contact Mr Hoque since the shooting or get any comment from Krystel’s management.
They did not attend Thursday’s licensing hearing.
A full licensing review must take place before March 28.
Representations should be made in writing on or before March 14 to Licensing Authority, Perth Terrace, Perth Road, Ilford, IG2 6AT or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.