Nightclub told to sort out safety after ‘illegal’ child wrestling incident

A nightclub was told to improve safeguarding after concerns were raised about the safety of a child wrestler and the venue’s electricity supply.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 3:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 5:57 pm

Issues were raised about Hex, on Queens Road, after a 14-year-old boy was ‘illegally’ involved in a wrestling performance at the site.

A Sheffield Council health and safety officer also raised issues with the electricity supply fittings, saying he had ‘never seen anything like it’ before.

At a meeting, the council’s licensing committee decided to allow the club to keep its licence on the condition that better safeguarding policies were put in place.

Earlier this year, a spectator made a complaint about a boy being ‘inappropriately dressed in public’ and getting hurt during a wrestling event.

But following discussions between management and children’s safeguarding services, the council felt the club had put measures in place to ensure the safety of the child, despite not taking the formal steps required.

The club’s legal representative said: “It was not a case where a 14-year-old boy was thrown into a ring with a 30-year-old man and wished good luck.”

They said the child was trained and permission from his parents was given. He had not been hurt during the performance, they added, saying this was a misunderstanding.

Julie Hague, licensing manager, said despite reassurances they were ‘disappointed’ that the club did not provide a notice to the council about the event.

They required background checks and consent from the council in Bradford, where the child lives, but Ms Hague said they did not obtain this despite saying they had.

Sean Gibbons, health and safety officer, said he inspected the site earlier this year and told management upon inspection to either disconnect their electrical supply and get their electrician to remove it immediately or he would issue a prohibition notice.

The club said they had checked the validity of the report and were confident in their electrician’s competency, who in their report stated: “There is nothing impairing the safety of the installation.”

Marie-Claire Frankie, council legal advisor, said: “There’s been a lot of discussion.

“Firstly I think it’s important to say members were really pleased with the management and had confidence that they had gone on courses and were happy that they were working together with responsible authorities.

“It was very clear to see there was a breach in the safeguarding of children but members would like to impose the conditions suggested in document that would stop that in the future.

“Members would also like there to be an asbestos management plan in place.”

No further action would be taken on the electricity, she said.