Manchester club can reopen after knife incidents in beer garden - but bouncers must carry knife wands

Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club in Harpuhey can reopen, but door staff will have to carry knife wands

A Manchester club has been allowed to keep its licence following a fight which left customers with knife wounds as CCTV footage of the incident emerges.

Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club in Harpurhey can reopen, but door staff will have to carry knife wands and wear bodycams, Manchester councillors have ruled.

The licensing panel heard how the bar staff left in charge on the night went against the advice of security on the door and let the offenders into the club.

Nathan Siddall, whose mother runs the club, apologised to the panel for his actions and admitted that he should not have overruled the security staff.

His comments came after Greater Manchester Police showed the panel CCTV footage of the fight on 11 March which left two customers with knife wounds.

Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club off Rochdale Road in Harpurhey. Pictured in September 2020. Credit: Google

What did police say?

PC Alan Isherwood, who presented the video evidence at a town hall hearing, said the police suspect that one of the offenders had a knife or sharp object.

Describing the footage to the panel, he said: “There’s punches thrown and scuffling and somewhere during this, one of the guys in the high vis ends up with a slash on his face, and another one ends up with a slash on his hand.”

PC Isherwood said the offenders were not behaving violently, but annoying customers by dancing so door staff later decided not to let them re-enter.

‘It was my fault’

Nathan Siddall, who was left in charge of the club, can be seen in another video speaking to the bouncers before the men are eventually allowed into the club.

Speaking at the licensing hearing, he told councillors that he was in the wrong.

He said: “It was obviously my fault. I overruled the bouncers which I know I shouldn’t have done.

“But I just felt like I was in a Catch-22.

“There were these two people who come to the pub regularly and then these two people who the bouncers were refusing. I was stuck in the middle of it.

“I didn’t know whether to let them in or to not let them in. If I didn’t let them in, would all four of them have kicked off? Or if I let two of them, would two of them have kicked off? It was a hard situation to be in at that point.

“But because I was serving at the same time, I just didn’t know where to be. I didn’t want to cause any more of a scene.

“So it was just a hard situation for me to be in. But I know I was in the wrong.”

The panel allowed the premises to keep its licence but with extra conditions.

This includes door staff deploying knife wands when deemed necessary and security guards on the door wearing body-worn video devices when on duty.

Staff must also undergo further training before if they are to be left in charge.