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Fight in which boxer died was unlicensed in 'every way' court told

PUBLISHED: 17:24 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:24 04 November 2019

Great Yarmouth boxer Jakub Kuba Moczyk. Photo: Magdalena Moczyk/Archant Library

Great Yarmouth boxer Jakub Kuba Moczyk. Photo: Magdalena Moczyk/Archant Library

Archant

A boxing match in which a young fighter died was "unlicensed in every way" after it was revealed the company running the Atlantis Tower Arena had gone into liquidation 18 months earlier.

Jakub Moczyk, known to family and friends as Kuba, was taking part in his first ever bout at the Great Yarmouth arena in November 2016, when he collapsed after a series of blows to the head.

The 22-year-old was taken to the James Paget Hospital but died two days later.

Aurelijus Kerpe, 34, of Great Yarmouth, alleged to be the promoter of the event, and medical provider Andrew Cowlard, 54, of Ormesby, have denied health and safety failings and are standing trial at Norwich Crown Court.

Christopher Brooks, from Norfolk Constabulary's licensing team, admitted the venue did not have a valid premises licence at the time as the company running the building had gone into liquidation in August 2015 without their knowledge.

He said there had been a premises licence with stringent conditions in place since 2005, allowing boxing to take place at the venue on Marine Parade.

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"We were under the impression we still had this premises licence operating at the time," he told the court.

"As a result of the investigation it was discovered the company had gone into liquidation, and with the company went the licence."

Expert Leisure Ltd, the company running the Atlantis Arena, had gone into liquidation in August 2015.

Judge David Goodin, questioning Mr Brooks, said: "This whole evening was unlicensed in every way. The premises licence expired 18 months before the event."

Mr Brooks said six days after the fatal bout he had met with the owners of the venue, including Colin Abbott, the former director of Expert Leisure Ltd.

He had been investigating breaches of the licence, including the fact police had not been given a risk assessment 21 days prior to the fight or told it was going to take place.

The venue owners gave police the name and mobile number for Kerpe, and Mr Brooks said Mr Abbott has been interviewed by Great Yarmouth Borough Council over premises licence breaches.

The trial continues, with defence evidence expected to begin on Tuesday morning.

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