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Maida Vale pub has licence suspended after sex attack claim

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:10 23 October 2014

Prince of Wales, Harrow Road.

Prince of Wales, Harrow Road.

Archant

A Maida Vale pub has been forced to shut its doors after allegations surfaced of a "prolonged and serious" sexual assault there earlier this month.

The incident is said to have occurred during the early hours of October 12 at the Prince of Wales pub in Harrow Road.

Police have arrested and charged John Michael Coyne, 55, with rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, causing a man over the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity and attempt to cause GBH with intent.

Following the incident, police have called on Westminster Council to consider whether the venue should be allowed to remain open, and the venue’s licence has been suspended in the interim.

The pub has already been subject to a licence review earlier this year after police raised concerns following a fight outside the premises on St Patrick’s Day, which resulted in a victim suuffering grievous bodily harm.

According to papers lodged with Westminster Council, police said there were more than 100 people inside the pub at the time of the incident and CCTV footage appeared to show that the staff and customers had been “inappropriately expedient” in their cleaning of the scene.

It was also noted that police had been called out to another incident in May 2012 when the landlord was hit in the face with a beer glass and required 15 stitches.

The council’s licensing panel chose not to revoke the licence in April, but attached a number of additional conditions – including that a personal licence holder who has completed a recognised crime scene preservation course should be on the premises at all times during opening hours.

Coyne, of Harrow Road, appeared at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on October 15 where he was remanded in custody to appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on October 28. He has not yet entered a plea.

A licensing committee hearing to decide the pub’s fate will take place before November 10.

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