THE bar which became the scene of the murder of Harry Potter actor Robert Knox and the wounding of five other young people has been defending itself at a review of its alcohol licence.

Mr Knox, 18, of Maidstone Road, Sidcup, died from multiple stab wounds after the incident outside the Metro Bar in Station Road, Sidcup, on May 24.

But licence holder Kenneth Ryan told last Friday's review hearing: "In our opinion, the Metro Bar did nothing to cause this randomly tragic incident."

Three days after the murder, at an emergency Bexley Council licensing sub-committee hearing, police had suggested "alcohol, mixed with a young clientele, some of whom are underage, might have been the cause of this tragedy".

The bar had its licence suspended for five days, at the request of the police, "to allow tensions to diminish".

At the full licence review, Mr Ryan accepted a number of new conditions on the bar's licence.

In a statement to the sub-committee, Mr Ryan said the bar had not been the subject of any previous concerns from the police or the council.

He said: "I would feel sure any wrongdoings would be passed up the line if there was any inappropriate behaviour by people using the bar."

Mr Ryan said his staff had always ensured all customers were searched and their ID checked.

On the night Mr Knox died, Mr Ryan claimed only one underage drinker had gained entry to the bar, by using his older brother's ID.

He added: "There has been no evidence of drinks being passed through the patio and neither were our customers carrying knives or other offensive weapons, as they were patted down and body searched."

Mr Ryan said none of the other underage teenagers injured during the incident had attempted to get into the bar that night and had "sat on the wall all evening".

A number of people, including middle-aged couples who use the bar at lunchtime and students who work there, wrote in support of the bar.

But there were a number of complaints, especially about the use of the outside wall and the patio area by drinkers.

New conditions on the bar's licence include a ban on the use of the patio after 11pm, except for smoking, plus all the conditions added at the emergency hearing.

These include the use of door entry metal scanners and a ban on under-18s in the bar after 10pm during the week and 9pm at weekends.

The bar has also been told to apply for planning permission to install a fence between the pub's front patio and the adjoining public footpath.

  • Karl Bishop, aged 21, of Beaver Lodge, Carlton Road, Sidcup, will appear at the Old Bailey on September 2 charged with the murder of Mr Knox and wounding five other people with intent.


THE parents of Robert Knox have set up a fund in memory of their teenage son.

Sally and Colin Knox have set up a memorial fund for those people who would like to make a donation instead of sending flowers to his funeral, which was due to take place today at Eltham Crematorium.

Anyone who wishes to donate can send cheques made payable to the Rob Knox Memorial Fund Account at Barclays Bank, 91 High Street, Sidcup.

After the private funeral, a memorial service is being held at St John's Church, Church Road, Sidcup.