Decision expected on Stourbridge nightclub, following fatal stabbing

A decision is expected today on the future of a Stourbridge nightspot following a knife attack which killed popular footballer, Ryan Passey.

The venue has remained closed since the 24-year-old's tragic death in the early hours of Sunday August 6th and thousands of people have signed a petition placed at the scene, calling for Chicago's to be closed for good.

Police requested Dudley Council carry out an interim review of the bar's licence following the incident and a decision is expected to be made today on the venue’s future, following a meeting of the authority's licensing committee. More than 3,500 people have so far signed their names to the petition to say they do not want to see the bar re-open.

Stourbridge councillor Nic Barlow said at the very least he would wish to see the boozer remain closed until after the funeral of Mr Passey, who played football for a number of borough clubs including Stourbridge FC's youth team. Speaking to the Stourbridge News, he said:

"If the bar was to re-open, there has to be major changes in terms of how it operates."

A report to the licensing committee said that due to the severity and serious nature of the incident, the sub-committee are of the view that the management of the premises will require a reasonable period of time to address the issues that were highlighted at an interim hearing in the days following the tragedy.

Cllr Barlow said whatever decision is made by the committee - the authority's licensing team would likely need to look more closely at security measures at lively nightspots across the borough.

Family members of Ryan say they have been left 'heartbroken by his death' and they have urged the committee to keep the pub closed, if not indefinitely, at least until he is laid to rest.

Kobe Murray, aged 19, of The Broadway, Dudley, has been charged with Ryan's murder and is next due at Birmingham Crown Court on September 5th.


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