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Soho bar allowed to reopen after sexual assault in men's toilets Published Date: 08/06/2024

Westminster City Council previously suspended the venue’s licence at a meeting on May 17 ahead of a full review.

It is reported that Louche on Greek Street has been allowed to reopen as long as it follows stricter rules including better CCTV, extra training for staff and an incident log is introduced.

The venue was forced to close its doors in May after a suspect assaulted a man before “forcing the victim to perform oral sex on him,” council documents show.

The victim said the suspect had entered his cubicle while he was trying to exit and forced the man back inside, where he was repeatedly assaulted and eventually forced to perform the sex act.

Armin Solimani, representing the Met Police, told the council’s licensing committee the suspect later committed another sexual assault on the Tube and attacked a door man at another venue.

He explained the attacks “would have been prevented had he been stopped and detained as he should have been” at Louche.

Security had marched him and the victim upstairs together and the suspect wandered off, councillors heard.

Mr Solimani also told the committee that there was a “drunken brawl” on the dance floor on April 28 and a victim had his tooth knocked out.

The suspect in this case was again “let loose and has not been identified,” the Met’s representative added.

Mr Solimani said: “Security should have been sacked at that point, things should have been changed at that point and that would have avoided the rape. That was a serious failing.”

In another incident a member of security had confiscated a large knife from someone but still allowed the offender into the venue.

Gary Grant, licensing barrister at Francis Taylor Buildings, acted for the operator.

The reports state that Dennis Rogers, who runs Louche and a private members club in Soho with his son Elliott, said at a previous meeting he was appalled by the way security guards handled the alleged sexual assault.

He said a new operator was in place and the CCTV system had been upgraded.

Mr Rogers said: “It was a terrible, terrible situation that happened that night with an individual who was looking for this kind of thing to happen. Equally, we don’t excuse the behaviour of the management or do we excuse the behaviour of the security staff.”