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Club pleads guilty after car park death

A BIRMINGHAM nightclub - where a Shirley man was found dead in the car park - has been fined £85,000.

A BIRMINGHAM nightclub - where a Shirley man was found dead in the car park - has been fined £85,000.

Luminar Oceana Ltd had pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching health and safety legislation. The parents of 21-year-old Christopher Clarke - who suffered the tragic accident in February 2007 - have described the sentence as “peanuts”.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Mr Clarke had visited the Hurst Street venue during a night out with friends.

He was asked to leave after ignoring a request not to take a glass bottle on the dance floor. But instead of using the main entrance, a bouncer had escorted him out of a fire exit and into a staff car park.

When the car park gates had shut - they were controlled by an automatic timer - Mr Clarke found himself trapped in an enclosed area. He had attempted to escape by climbing a mesh fence, but had slipped and fallen onto the concrete below.

His body was discovered in the early hours of the morning and it was later revealed that he had died from head injuries.

Graham Clarke, Christopher’s father, said: “Words fail me. If I had my way the club should be closed down, it was totally irresponsible and it’s us who have been left with a life sentence, not them.”

The club had been prosecuted following an investigation by health and safety watchdogs at Birmingham City Council.

Coun Neil Eustace, chairman of the public protection committee, said: “I hope this prosecution sends a clear message to all businesses in the city as to what can happen if they do not take their duty of care to members of the public seriously.”

Luminar Oceana Ltd issued a statement which offers condolences to Mr Clarke’s family and outlined the review of safety measures which had followed the accident.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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