September 15 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 17, 2014
An off licence was fined more than £15,000 for selling alcohol to children after previously being handed a fine for similar behaviour last year.
An ongoing campaign between Suffolk Trading Standards and Suffolk police has led to the successful prosecution of Metro Express (Haverhill) Ltd for persistently selling alcohol to under 18’s.
East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court found the off licence guilty of persistently selling alcohol from the “Your Store”, in Apple Acre Road, Haverhill, in spite of them entering a not guilty plea.
Following the case the company was fined £9,000 plus £120 victim charges and costs of £7,721.18. They are to pay a total of £16,841.18.
Previously cautioned and spot fined in 2013, another incident took place at the premises in May this year, where company director, Mr Jeyaruban, sold four cans of larger to a 16-year-old without asking to see any proof of age.
Jeyaruban was also found guilty of selling alcohol to someone under the age of 18. He was fined £2,000, ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £120.
The news comes after two other businesses were fined nearly £25,000 for the same offence earlier this month in Suffolk.
Councillor Colin Spence, cabinet member for public protection at Suffolk County Council, said: “This case demonstrates that through on the spot fines, license reviews and prosecution any premises which continues to sell alcohol to under 18’s will face appropriate and robust action.
“There are simple steps a business can follow to prevent prosecution such as ensuring all staff are trained in the sale of age restricted products. It is also important to keep a written record of the training you have provided, ensuring the records are signed and dated. Perhaps also consider implementing a challenge 21 or 25 policy to make it easier for staff to identify underage purchases.”
As the school holidays approach Trading Standards & Suffolk police are urging licensees to be particularly vigilant of any underage person attempting to buy alcohol.