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LIFE BANS, PARTY OVER FOR KINGS CROSS BAR OPERATORS

The party is over for two former Kings Cross bar operators who have been banned for life from hold­ing a liquor licence, after an unprecedented display of contempt for patrons’ safety and law enforce­ment.

 

Acting Premier and Min­ister for Justice and Police Troy Grant said today the life bans were the toughest sanction to be taken against a rogue operator in NSW under the Liquor Act.

 

The bans resulted from a special application brought by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Rac­ing (OLGR) and the NSW Police Force to the Inde­pendent Liquor & Gaming Authority. It was against former licensee John Barakat and his close as­sociate, venue manager Dominic Kaikaty, who ran Kings Cross bar Déjà Vu between January 2013 and March 2014. The pair no longer run the business.

 

Prior to the bans, pros­ecution and penalties were already imposed for a cata­logue of serious breaches and crimes that occurred under their management, including:

 

• Serving 10 shots, six beers and mixed spirits to two minors aged 15 and 17. The 17-year-old was then sick inside the venue before collapsing on the footpath outside where he was kicked by a venue pro­moter and told to move on.

 

• Mr Kaikaty being charged and convicted of supplying drugs after be­ing found in possession of six small bags of cocaine inside the venue.

 

• Venue staff as­saulting a member of the public and staff not report­ing assaults to police.

 

• Continuous ir­responsible promotions offering low-priced shots including a Facebook pro­motion stating: “Keep calm. It’s Friday night. Get drunk”. A cartoon de­picting women engaged in apparent illicit drug use inside toilets also appeared on the venue’s Facebook page.

 

Offensive posts appearing on the venue’s Facebook page included a photo of Mr Barakat, Mr Kaikaty and others with their mid­dle fingers extended ac­companied by a profane message to police.

 

Mr Grant said the venue was forced to shut down for 72 hours in March 2014 but the contempt showed by these individuals war­ranted the exceptional ac­tion of life bans.

 

“The NSW Liberals & Na­tionals Government will not tolerate licensees running a venue like it’s a Hangover movie. Operating a licensed venue carries serious re­sponsibilities to community and patron safety,’’ Mr Grant said.

 

“The contempt they showed for authorities is ex­traordinary and as a result of Government action the party is now well and truly over for these two.’

 

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