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Man arrested following second hoax bomb scare at G-A-Y Heaven

The famous London LGBTQ venue was evacuated last Friday over a bomb scare for the second time in less than three months.

2021-07-27

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki

A man has been charged following an investigation into a bomb hoax at the Heaven nightclub in London, according to the Metropolitan Police.

The popular gay venue was evacuated over a bomb threat for the second time this year after the bomb scare on Friday (23 July) but was later, thankfully, allowed to resume after it was found to have been a hoax.

David Rodgers, 37, from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, has been charged with communicating a bomb hoax and is due to appear before Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday (27 July).

"Heaven’s always felt like a safe space to be yourself"

In what should have been a joyful first weekend open since the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions on nightclubs, Heaven was briefly interrupted in its celebrations.

The Met Police says it received reports of a “suspicious item” at a nightclub in the Villiers Street/Charing Cross area shortly after nine o ‘clock on Friday night.

Taking to Twitter at the time, Heaven’s owner, Jeremy Joseph, said he felt “physically sick” as the club was evacuated and told people to stay away while sniffer dogs arrived to check the premises.

The Mirror also reports other nearby businesses were asked to evacuated and close. The Met Police says it investigated and discovered it had been a hoax call.

In a second tweet Jeremy Joseph praised the police adding, “I can’t tell you how scary walking around a closed venue with sniffer dogs is, they are amazing,” and that everything had been given the all clear and the club was back open.

He also thanked customers who had cleared the venue in 3 minutes. One of those customers replied to Joseph saying, “I can’t lie, was extremely disheartened when we were evacuated last night.

“Heaven’s always felt like a safe space to be yourself, but last night reminded me we’re not all immune from horrible people that don’t like us feeling safe.”

Jeremy Joseph also tweeted images showing that KU Bar, another gay venue in the capital, had been defaced with graffiti over the weekend.

In May Heaven had to be evacuated for the same reason during a rehearsal for the Drag Queens of Pop show starring RuPaul’s Drag Race UK stars The Vivienne, Veronica Green, Tia Kofi, and fellow drag queen Shania Pain.

Speaking to Attitude at the time, The Vivienne said: "There were horses, sniffer dogs, bomb squads. Then we found out there had been a phone call to the police saying there was a bomb in Heaven. It was bizarre – I’ve never been in that sort of situation. We didn’t know how to react, whether it was a hoax or real.

“The police have said ‘this could be a targeted attack’ because we posted [on social media]. That was the scary part. We didn’t know whether it was homophobically motivated. It’s made me rethink what I post on social media."

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