“Patrons sustained injuries, including injuries which required stitches and staples to suture lacerations to the head.”
The assaults related to 13 incidents, mostly outside the venue while people were being ejected or refused entry.
Five incidents resulted in police intervention and criminal convictions recorded against staff at the nightclub, who later lost their jobs.
During a Liquor Commission hearing in March, the nightclub’s lawyers argued it was not liable for criminal acts carried out by staff, and since the string of incidents, it had fired a number of people and introduced a new security training regime.
The venue referred to the convicted former staff as a “discrete number of employees” and noted three of the excessive force incidents involved licensed crowd controllers.
“The position that appears to have been adopted by police is that approved managers should not be permitted to act as crowd controllers,” its submission to the Liquor Commission said, arguing managers also had the power to evict patrons using force under the Security and Related Activities Act.
“Upon the evidence before the Commission there is no evidence that crowd controllers perform better than managers without training,” the submission argued.
However, the Commission found the venue had employed unqualified security staff who consistently acted inappropriately and prejudiced the welfare of patrons.
It handed the venue a $1500 fine and ordered at least half its security staff be qualified crowd controllers, while the remainder must be authorised managers who have completed a security operations course.
WA Police appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, claiming the changes to the venue’s liquor licence had actually made crowd controller conditions less onerous.
In a decision handed down by Justice Jeremy Curthoys on Tuesday, an amended condition to the club’s liquor licence requires it now only employ qualified crowd controllers as part of its security staff.
Security must also wear high-visibility uniforms to be easily distinguishable to patrons.
The Gold Bar’s owner, Ashok Parekh, declined to comment.
Heather McNeill is a senior journalist at WAtoday.