Ben: Closure threat to bar, warns police chief

THE BAR at the centre of the police investigation into the death of Ben Kinsella could be shut down, according to Islington s chief police officer.

THE BAR at the centre of the police investigation into the death of Ben Kinsella could be shut down, according to Islington's chief police officer.

Sixteen-year-old Ben was on a night out in Shillibeers in North Road, Holloway, when there was a disturbance which spilled into the street outside. A few minutes later the schoolboy was fatally wounded - and as a result the venue is now facing an uncertain future.

Chief Superintendent Bob Carr, Islington's borough police commander, said: "We are investigating the element that they were in there underage. They shouldn't have even been in there. We are not pursuing anybody who was in the premises to report them for underage drinking. We are not looking to pursue them in a criminal case.

"But the pub itself, we are investigating. There would appear to be a breach of licensing laws. If we can prove that there was underage drinking, it could be shut down by Islington Council."

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Shillibeers is a large venue with both a pub and a high-quality restaurant. It is quiet during the week, when the clientele are generally office workers, but on Fridays and Saturdays younger revellers are attracted by DJs playing tunes from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Chief Superintendent Carr said there was no evidence of disorder at Shillibeers in the past. Sebina Corrigan, owner of Corrigan's Butchers, in Brecknock Road, Holloway, and a friend of the Kinsella family, said: "Did they search everybody who went in that night and did they throw everyone out and lock the doors when trouble started?

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"The son of a friend of mine went to Shillibeers on the night it happened and he said every scumbag under the sun was in there but no one was being searched. He left with his girlfriend because he didn't see Ben."

She continued: "Ben was a lovely, lovely kid. It's always the ones who don't carry the knives that end up getting hurt. The people who did this are cowards but there are also serious questions for Shillibeers to answer."

A spokesman for Shillibeers said: "The incident that happened half a mile away in York Way is an absolute tragedy. We have stringent security measures which were all in place at the time. The venue employs a Government approved security firm which is one of London's top five entertainment security firms."

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