Effingham Arms shut down after horror stabbing

A TOWN centre pub has been closed down by police after a customer was allegedly knifed in the face in front of terrified shoppers.

Mark Walker was having a cigarette at the Effingham Arms entrance when an attacker tried to stab him three times with a five-inch hunting knife causing a serious cut under one eye.

The assailant tried to blind the 41-year-old by aiming for his one good eye, police said, after an argument inside the pub over an alleged unpaid £30 debt.

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Police took evidence to the Town Hall on Wednesday when Rotherham Borough Council agreed to temporarily shut the pub.

Licensing officer Pc Dave Thompson said: “The incident occurred close to the town centre’s main bus station and taxi ranks, during daylight when there were a lot of shoppers and workers around, who witnessed what happened.

“First of all there was an altercation inside the premises over a £30 cash debt. One man went home and returned with a hunting knife secreted in his waistband.

“The victim was now standing on the steps having a cigarette. He was asked for the money again and then apparently took exception to a comment made.

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“He attempted to stab the man three times, once below the right eye, knowing that it was his only good eye.

“He also believed he had stabbed him in the stomach, although this turned out just to be a punch because of the angle he was holding the knife. Members of the public helped to restrain the attacker.”

The council’s licensing committee held an urgent hearing this week, removing the pub and landlord’s licenses until a full hearing on October 17.

Mr Walker, of Rotherham, was kept in at Rotherham General Hospital for treatment following the 5pm incident last Friday.

A man has been  remanded in custody and will appear at Sheffield Crown Court in November charged with wounding.