Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Goldfinger to sue police over 'harassment' after winning fight to keep nightclub Tabu Lounge open

Croydon Guardian: Chris Goldfinger, who has lived in Thornton Heath for 18 years Chris Goldfinger, who has lived in Thornton Heath for 18 years

A former Radio 1 DJ has threatened to sue the Metropolitan Police over "harassment" after defeating a bid to shut down his nightclub.

Chris Goldfinger - real name Christopher Clarke - is to claim for loss of earnings and damage to his reputation after police alleged he was unfit to run Tabu Lounge in London Road.

The dispute came to a head on Wednesday after police licensing officers moved to block the Thornton Heath DJ's application to take over the day-to-day running of the club, which he has owned for five years.

They claimed his international touring schedule meant he would not have time to properly supervise the venue and said his presence would attract crime and disorder.

But Mr Clarke's lawyer, Colin Weaving, alleged the police appeal was "full of spite, made without a shred of evidence and full of inaccuracies and contradictions".

Mr Weaving said: "It's always this old worn out excuse of drugs, gangs and guns. Why can't they come up with something new?

"Mr Clarke is going to sue the Metropolitan Police for substantial damages for loss of profits, damage to his good name and hurt suffered to his character.

"He is a fit an proper person. I ask that this objection be thrown out and treated as a vexatious assault on a man's good character."

He claimed police "intimidation and harassment" had led to the club's previous designated premises supervisor leaving his post.

But Guy Ladenburg, representing the police, denied the objection was malicious.

He said: "The police are anxious that Mr Clarke is not the right person to manage the club. He has a busy international schedule and we are concerned that he wouldn't be able to respond to problems.

Clearly the police don't accept that his application has come out of malice."

Darren Rhodes, Croydon police's licensing officer, described the club as a "dying business with outstanding rent arrears" and said handing Mr Clarke the reins would "significantly increase the risk of crime and disorder".

However, Croydon Council's sub-licensing committee dismissed the force's objections and approved the application to transfer running of the club to Mr Clarke.

Maria Gatland, committee chair, told him: "This is a second chance and the committee would like to see are more constructive relationship with the police."

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Clarke - who presented Radio 1's reggae and dancehall show from 1996 to 2009 - said he was pleasantly surprised to win the battle.

He said: "I have been in situations like this before and I know that they normally go the police's way. I understand their jobs are not easy.

"It would be nice if clubs got more support from the police when there are incidents. Instead you get a finger pointed in your face and told they are going to shut you down.

"If you saw drug dealer buying a KFC, you would not shut it down."

The DJ is considering closing the club when its lease expires in October.

He launched the nightspot in 2012 after its predecessor the Club, also owned by Mr Clarke, was shut down following a spate of gang-related crime.

Comments (2)

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1:07pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Dani78 says...

Seems like the police are on the rampage at the moment, first this club then the Portmanor in Norwood wtf is going on.... How about sort out our streets and stop the murders and robberies rather then ruining peoples lives by stopping employment by attempting to close these establishments down...

is it because they are failing elsewhere that they feel by closing establishments they can then announce false rubbish about "how the club was a drug den, full of holligans etc etc " it makes them look like they are doing something positive.. Metropolitan Police take note WE HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN YOU AS THE PUBLIC DO NOT FEEL SAFE, YOUR OWN OFFICERS ARE THUGS THEMSELVES, TAE ALOOK AT YOUR OWN FORCE AND START MAKING OUR STREETS SAFE....
Seems like the police are on the rampage at the moment, first this club then the Portmanor in Norwood wtf is going on.... How about sort out our streets and stop the murders and robberies rather then ruining peoples lives by stopping employment by attempting to close these establishments down... is it because they are failing elsewhere that they feel by closing establishments they can then announce false rubbish about "how the club was a drug den, full of holligans etc etc " it makes them look like they are doing something positive.. Metropolitan Police take note WE HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN YOU AS THE PUBLIC DO NOT FEEL SAFE, YOUR OWN OFFICERS ARE THUGS THEMSELVES, TAE ALOOK AT YOUR OWN FORCE AND START MAKING OUR STREETS SAFE.... Dani78
  • Score: 2

1:04pm Sun 30 Mar 14

alroutemaster says...

It is precisely the fact that this type of club is a breeding ground for criminal activity and drug dealing that the police try to shut them down. More power to them in their attempts to stem the rising tide of multicultural crime.
It is precisely the fact that this type of club is a breeding ground for criminal activity and drug dealing that the police try to shut them down. More power to them in their attempts to stem the rising tide of multicultural crime. alroutemaster
  • Score: -2

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