Club stripped of liquor licence

ELLE HUNT
Last updated 05:00 06/02/2013

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The Calendar Girls strip club in Wellington is facing a dry spell after its liquor licence was cancelled in the High Court.

The Dixon St club - the latest in a chain owned by businesswoman Jacqui Le Prou - has had its right to sell alcohol revoked after a judge granted an appeal by police and by a company owned by strip club rivals the Chow Group.

Lawyer Glenn Jones said Ms Le Prou was "very disappointed" with the decision, but the club would remain open as normal until the liquor licence could be reinstated, or a new licence granted.

Ms Le Prou said she would be meeting a QC tomorrow to discuss the appeal process.

The Liquor Licensing Authority granted the club a licence in June last year, without a public hearing, despite opposition from police and Chow Group company CGML.

Police opposed the application because of "serious concerns about the suitability" of the club - principally the alleged involvement of Ms Le Prou's husband, James Samson, who spent five years in jail on methamphetamine charges.

Justice Robert Dobson reserved his decision on the appeal in November last year but, on Monday, granted police and CGML a rehearing of Calendar Girls' licence application.

Justice Dobson said the authority could not "reasonably have dismissed the need for a public hearing before reaching a lawful decision on the issue of suitability", and that CGML's objection should not have been rejected simply because it was a competing business.

Wellington City area commander Inspector Chris Scahill said police would be working with Calendar Girls and CGML in the leadup to the rehearing.

No date for the rehearing has yet been set.

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- The Dominion Post

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