Radio Sandwell Local News

Birmingham's Rococo bar used DJ as scapegoat for brawl

2013-02-27 19:32:56


A DJ has accused nightclub bosses of using him as a scapegoat after a birthday bash turned into a street brawl in Birmingham.

Jason Neale, known as DJ Silk, was blamed by managers at Broad Street's Rococo bar for the alleged gang-related violence last month and sacked.

But at a Birmingham City Council hearing, police agreed he had been used as a scapegoat and accused club bosses of trying to cover up the incident.

Licensing chiefs have now slapped a string of conditions on Rococo Bar and ordered the removal of their designated premises supervisor Jas Binning.

At the height of the brawl on January 30, a man was stabbed outside the bar and police had to use Tasers to quell the violence. Around 400 revellers were inside when trouble flared.

Bosses initially pinned the blame on Mr Neale who they claimed had promoted the birthday party without permission, causing a surge in the Tuesday night crowd.

But the DJ said Jas Binning had given the nod for the bash.

"I'm being blamed for this, I've lost my job and can't get work anywhere else because my name has been associated with what's happened," he told the council meeting.

"They've soiled my name. It's affected my ability to provide for my family."

Police licensing officer Abdool Rohoman said evidence had shown Mr Binning and other club bosses knew about the party, but later denied knowledge of it.

He told the hearing: "These premises knew about this event. They've then gone to extraordinary lengths to get the DJ to remove any evidence of the birthday party from his personal Facebook and Twitter pages.

"They've tried to cover this up. There was a deliberate attempt to hide what they knew from us.

"Mr Neale has no control over the premises. He's been used as a scapegoat."

Heath Thomas, representing the club, denied there had been a cover-up and said not all of the blame had been placed on Mr Neale.

But he stood by the club's claims the DJ had promoted the event externally without permission.

He said Tuesday and Sunday night events had now been removed from the schedule.

Licensing bosses ordered the club to inform police about all events on a monthly basis and ordered the removal of Mr Binning, saying the essential trust between him and police had broken down.

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