A CRICKET club has today had its premises licence suspended after a man was stabbed in the clubhouse on Boxing Day night.

The 28-year-old was rushed to Darlington Memorial Hospital for treatment following the incident at Etherley Cricket Club, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Two men appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court last week in connection with the incident.

And the police, fearing for the safety of the public, sought an immediate suspension of the club’s premises licence to prevent non-members from using the bar.

At county hall in Durham today Durham County Council’s statutory licensing sub-committee approved the request and also suspended the designated premises supervisor, Fred Adams.

Sergeant Tim Robson of Durham Police’s alcohol harm reduction unit said that it was the second serious assault to take place at the club in 2012.

“In June this year a disturbance took place at a charity event attended by members of the public,” he said.

“Excessive amounts of alcohol were consumed resulting in a male being seriously assaulted and a female being glassed.”

A police report presented to the committee also made serious allegations about the club, stating:

“A serious stabbing, drug misuse, possessions of weapons, namely a knife, affray, and the failure of the management of the premises to demonstrate that they are capable of preventing the undermining of the licensing objectives, all add to the evidence to support that this premises is associated with serious criminal offences.”

Sgt Robson said witness statements taken on Boxing Day reported customers downing up to 14 pints.

Although it was established that CCTV was in operation, the committee heard that Mr Adams did not know how to view the footage, which breached the licence conditions.

Following their court appearance, Thomas Adams, 31, of The Crescent, High Etherley, Bishop Auckland, and Michael Dunn, of Red Houses, High Etherley, Bishop Auckland, were remanded in custody to appear again at a later date.

Mr Adams is charged with wounding with intent, affray and possession of a knife in a public place.

Mr Dunn is charged with affray.

David Dinsdale of Etherley Cricket Club said aside from the two incidents this year there had been very few problems at the club.

He also highlighted the hard work of volunteers to organise cricket coaching for youngsters.

A full review hearing on the licence suspension will be held within 28 days.