Councillors have rejected a police bid to set minimum alcohol pricing at a Cardiff nightspot – after a string of alleged violent incidents.
Police had said they wanted Kapu Exotic Cocktails and Island Grill and the adjoining Ladybird Club on Mill Lane to be unable to offer spirits for sale at less than £1 per 25ml.
But councillors sitting on the licensing sub-committee said it was “not in its remit” to make the condition.
Tony Bowley, representing South Wales Police, had told councillors the premises had seen a number of alleged assaults “fuelled” by alcohol.
He said: “While I was investigating last few months what has gone wrong and the list of incidents of violence, I found the premises was running, at the time, a promotion of double spirit for £1.50.
“That seemed to me to possibly be the driver for some of the assaults – that’s 13 measures of whisky or brandy for £10 and you still get change in your hand. In the police’s opinion, this cheap drinks offer was fuelling some of the violence.”
Among the alleged incidents listed by police were a doorman bleeding after being bitten on the ear, girls fighting with stiletto heels and one man being left with a double skull fracture by an alleged assault.
But licence-holder Gianluca Malacrino appeared in front of the committee where he said many of the incidents were in dispute.
Claire Rawle, representing Mr Malacrino, said the allegations had been made with no evidence presented to the committee.
Police also asked for conditions that alcohol served on major event days or after 11pm be served in non-glass vessels and an ID scanning device be used after 9pm or when door staff were on duty.
It came after police claimed they found alcohol being sold in glass on major event days and a 15 and 16-year-old girl being served as part of a test purchase.
Mrs Rawle said Mr Malacrino had always cooperated with police, had a new state-of-the art ID machine in place and had suggested modified licensing conditions himself at “a very early stage”.
Mrs Rawle said: “That fact that he’s in this position before you has caused immense upset and distress to Mr Malacrino who prides himself on the fact his premises is a well-known, popular venue enjoyed by many visitors to Cardiff.”
Councillors made modifications for a challenge 25 policy to be implemented and staff trained in it and for all drinks after 11pm to be served in non-glass vessels with sufficient glass collectors to “promptly facilitate” removal of glasses indoor and outside.