Preston bar could be closed over ‘violence and disorder’

Mac's Bar in Friargate, Preston'Macs Bar

Mac's Bar in Friargate, Preston'Macs Bar

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ALARMING footage of the moment a police officer had to use PAVA spray to protect revellers from a gang of more than 60 people has been shown to a judge.

Police are trying to secure a closure order for Mac’s Bar on Friargate, Preston, which they claim is at the centre of incidents of disorder and violence in the city.

The bar is subject to licence review proceedings and was temporarily closed at an earlier hearing.

Prosecuting Richard Williams said: “Since the initial hearing a second DVD has been produced which shows an assault on April 26 when the victim received a fractured skull. Further footage from May 31 shows a dispersal incident.”

Several people supporting the club and its staff sat in the public gallery.

PC Danny Clough told Preston Magistrates’ Court how he arrived at an ugly scene outside the premises at 5.30am on April 3, in which an aggressive group had cornered another group underneath a nearby shop canopy and were shouting and pointing.

He described how two of his officers were caught in the middle and one, with a “look of fear” on his face, had drawn his baton.

PC Clough said he ended up using the spray to disperse the crowd

He said: “ I haven’t had to draw my spray for years

“There was definitely an aggressive tone. The incident ended up involving 15 officers from other parts of the county.

“People were throwing coins at them. It went on for 30 minutes but under stress and fear it felt a lot longer.”

He told the court there had “not been enough resources” to carry out arrests.

The court heard on the same night, 300m away from the bar, PC Clough had to respond to another incident in which a man, who had been in Mac’s Bar, was unconscious after a fellow reveller stamped on his head.

The case continues and the hearing is expected to conclude on Monday.