Boheme nightclub in Mile End loses license over Kelvin Easton’s death

The nightclub where 23-year-old Kelvin Easton was stabbed to death in London’s East End has lost its license.

Boheme nightclub at Mile End failed in its battle last night to get the emergency police order revoked which had closed it following Kelvin’s death on the night of March 27.

It spelled victory for the community at Mile End which had been campaigning for two years to shut down the club because of noise, drunkenness, yob behaviour and violence on their doorstep.

Kelvin’s death was the last straw. Police moved in and closed it down immediately after.

Club owner Benn Wilson failed in his appeal to Tower Hamlets licensing hearing last night to quash the order.

Licensing chair David Snowdon pronounced: “We don’t accept the club owner will comply with license conditions. He failed to fulfil conditions on crime and disorder, public safety and public nuisance.”

The packed public gallery broke into applause when the verdict was given—which means the club is now permanently closed.

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The decision came after Pc Alan Cruickshank told councillors: “The club breaching hours and conditions of its licence contributed to the stabbing.

“Benn Wilson cannot be trusted to run this club in a professional manner.

“Any assurances he gives cannot be taken at face value.”

The hearing heard overwhelming evidence cataloguing breaches of the licence and incompetence.

It centred around lack of security searching clubbers for weapons on the night Kelvin died and on lack of CCTV in the club which hampered the murder squad’s investigations.

The CCTV tape was said in a witness statement to have been stolen that night—which was later discredited. There had been no club security cameras operating, councillors heard.

But a street camera opposite the club in Mile End Road, at the junction with Burdett Road, showed people entering the premises without being searched for weapons, long after 2am when the licensing hours had ended.

Kelvin was attacked at 4.30am. A 27-year-old man was later arrested at the club in connection with the stabbing.

Mark Taylor, who chairs Mile End Residents’ Association, told the hearing: “If the licensee and manager had acted responsibly in the interests of public safety, the death of a young man would not have happened.”

The association issued a statement afterwards saying: “It’s now clear from police statements made by the licensee Benn Wilson and manager Dante Williams that if they had complied with the terms of the licence the club should have been closed that night. Kelvin Easton would still be alive today.”

Kelvin’s violent death came at the end of a two-year battle to close Bohame, also known as London Broke.

Tower Hamlets councillor Rachael Saunders, representing residents in Mile End, told the hearing: “The families have been dealing with the filth, mess, crime and nuisance from this club for too long. It’s been a misery for people.”

Fellow neighbourhood councillor Josh Peck said: “Residents have put up with years of sleepless nights as clubbers partied, fought and urinated on their doorsteps.”

He added: “It’s tragic that a young man has had to die for this to be dealt with.”