‘A scene in chaos’: Everything we know that happened inside Crane nightclub on Boxing Day
The police say Crane nightclub showed ‘serious management failings’ on the night of Cody Fisher’s death
On Boxing Day, non-league footballer and school sports coach, Cody Fisher went to Crane nightclub to “enjoy himself with friends”. The 23-year-old went to the club in Digbeth for its Boxing Day Special headlined by Italian techno DJ Marco Carola. However he never came home. At 11:45pm he was approached by a group of people on the dance floor where he was stabbed. After 30 minutes he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Since then, three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder, two men in London and another man in Birmingham. The police have confirmed a total of seven arrests, the remaining four were all arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Crane has said it’s “deeply shocked and saddened” Cody died at its event and is working in conjunction with West Midlands Police. It’s also cancelled its New Years Eve event due to the circumstances. However, the club might not operate beyond New Years Eve. Today, West Midlands Police have requested Birmingham City Council reviews the license of the venue, which could lead to a suspension of its license. In council documents seen by The Tab, the police highlighted “serious management failings” at Crane and described the events that took place the night Cody died as “a scene in chaos”. Here is everything we know happened the night of the fatal stabbing:
26th December 11:45pm
West Midlands Police were called to The Crane nightclub on Adderley Street in Digbeth to respond to reports of a stabbing.
23-year-old Cody Fisher was among hundreds of other people in the nightclub at the time. It is believed Cody was then approached by a group of people. According to police, a fight then broke out on the dance floor and in the altercation, Cody was fatally stabbed with a knife.
Council documents seen by The Tab give the account of a West Midlands Police sergeant who arrived at the club and found a “scene in chaos”. They were initially asked by security to help manage the crowds to which the police declined and began CPR to help assist medics on scene.
The officer also described staff as “wandering around all over the place” and that they were “oblivious” to what was happening. There is also a suggestion from the officer the crime scene was not properly maintained, the officer alleging staff began to clean up the dance floor and body camera footage showing “people just wondering around the [crime] scene freely”.
The sergeant said once more officers arrived, the area was cordoned off and the officers saw “hundreds” of small drugs bags and nitrous oxide canisters on the dance floor.
27th December 12:15am
Despite those around him attempting to save his life as well as the paramedics who arrived at the scene, Cody Fisher is pronounced dead. A post mortem later confirms the 23-year-old died of a stab wound.
Speaking to PA Media, one clubber described there being “groups of lads…looking to cause trouble”. Another said: “As soon as me and my friends walked in, we got a very weird vibe and the atmosphere wasn’t good.”
West Midlands Police launch a murder investigation, urging anyone who was in the area to come forward and share their information with the police.
Cody’s family pay tribute, saying: “They have broken our hearts; I have lost my best friend. My family and I are asking for privacy and respectfulness at this heart-breaking time.”
Crane confirms the club is shut and cancels its New Year’s Eve event. In a statement it said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened that a man lost his life last night as our Boxing Day event came to a close. Our thoughts are with the victim, and his family and friends.”
James Behan, a friend of Cody Fisher said the impact its had on Cody’s family and friends has been “devastating”.
“Our friendship group has a hole now which can’t be filled, I was out the night it happened, it hit me like a tonne of bricks. He had an infectious smile. A love for life, his friends, his football, his family.”
Another friend, Kelsey Mooney, added: “Anyone who knew him, wouldn’t say a bad thing about him. It was just the wrong place, the wrong time, it hasn’t hit me yet.”
28th December 11:15am
A day after opening its murder investigation, the police announce they’ve arrested two men on suspicion of murder. The first, a 22-year-old from Birmingham, was arrested shortly after midnight in the city centre.
The second arrest is a 21-year-old man who is arrested later in the morning in London. Both are questioned over the killing of Cody.
Leading the investigation, DCI Ian Ingram, from the Homicide team, says: “We’re making good progress in our investigation and are building a better picture of what happened.
“We’ve been really pleased with the response from the public and have already had a number of witness accounts and images sent through, which will help with our investigation.”
The police appeal again to the public to come forward with any information, pictures or videos and urges them to submit it to the force’s detectives here.
Later in the day, the police arrest two more men in London on suspicion of assisting an offender. This brings the arrest count to four.
29th December 10:30am
A third man, aged 22, is arrested on suspicion of murder, the police confirm. The arrest took place at 3am in London. Also in London, a further two men are arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
“We now have seven people in custody and continue to build a picture of the events that led to the tragic loss of this young man’s life,” DCI Ingram says.
West Midlands Police also reveal it has applied to Birmingham City Council for the Crane’s license to be reviewed.
In documents, submitted to the council, Superintendent Sally Simpson, says the standard review procedure is “inappropriate” due to the “serious management failings” at Crane and the “seriousness of the crime”.
West Midlands Police are “concerned as to how a knife had been able to get inside the premises”. Going further, the force say: “Any control measures, the premises may have had, have been found ineffective.”
Previously, an event-goer had told the BBC: “Me and the friend I was with, not once did we get asked to clear our pockets out even though mine were full. I had cargo trousers on with pockets full.
“Obviously you want everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves [but] when we got in I said to my friend: ‘That’s the worst search I’ve ever seen’. Anyone could have brought anything in.”
30th December 10:00am
The licensing review for Crane is set to take place at 10am. The meeting will be live-streamed on YouTube, where you can watch along from here.
The meeting will determine whether any interim steps need to take place. These could include moderate changes such as modifications to the existing license or removing the ability to sell alcohol at the venue to the more severe outcome of removing the premise supervisor or suspending the license altogether.
A spokesperson for Crane said: “An expedited review of a premises licence is normal whenever any serious crime takes place at a licensed premises, and we are cooperating fully.
“We place the highest priority on all aspects of public safety and security. Whilst It would be wrong for us at this stage to react to individual, anecdotal accounts of the circumstances that applied on Boxing Day, we do employ extensive and professional security procedures for all public events, and our contracted security staff are professionals who are licensed by the SIA. But we will of course be conducting a full and detailed review in light of this week’s tragedy, as well as assisting fully with the ongoing police enquiry.
“This matter is subject to an ongoing murder investigation and while this is the case, we will not be issuing any public statements or making further comments relating to any individual details or circumstances surrounding this tragic event. Our focus will be to assist the police in every possible way with their enquiry.
The police are still appealing to members of the public to come forward with any information. If you want to speak to someone contact West Midlands Police via Live Chat here between 8am and midnight quoting Log 3792 of 26th December. You can also call 101 anytime or Contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Featured image credit via SWNS.
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