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Ipswich: Licensee who ignored previous warnings fined for underage alcohol sale

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 April 2013

A LICENSEE whose business sold alcohol to a 15-year-old is finally paying the price today after ignoring previous warnings from the authorities.

Mohammed Ziyad, of the Uni Store in Grimwade Street, Ipswich was ordered to pay nearly £1,100 when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

A member of his staff was caught out when during a test purchase operation by trading standards officers and police.

A bottle of red Lambrini was sold to the 15-year-old when he went into the off licence and general store on November 8 last year.

The shop worker was subsequently interviewed by officers and issued with an £80 penalty notice.

The store’s licensee Ziyad, of Bond Street, Ipswich, was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to selling alcohol to a person under the age of 18.

Trading standards officers said there have been a number of incidents involving premises owned by Ziyad in the last two years.

These include the Little Hut shop in Eagle Street, Ipswich.

Officers said there have been problems with sales of alcohol to people who are underage, selling alcohol to street drinkers and selling an illicit brand of spirits called Drop Vodka.

Written warnings have been given, and trading standards and police officers visited Mr Ziyad on a number of occasions.

In 2011 the Food Standards Agency said it could not be sure what is in Drop Vodka.

Tests carried out by local authorities identified the presence of Propan-2-ol and methanol in some of the vodka, and other substances that could be harmful to health.

Magistrates fined 34-year-old Ziyad £400 and ordered him to pay £655 prosecution costs. He must also pay £40 to the victims’s fund.

After the case Steve Greenfield, head of Suffolk Trading Standards, said: “Test purchase operations like this are regularly carried out across the county to ensure that retailers and license holders who do not take their responsibilities seriously are dealt with in accordance with the law.

“Traders are given information and advice, urged to train their staff and above all, encouraged be vigilant and ensure that ID is requested from anyone if they look under the age of 25 and try to buy alcohol.

“It is of course illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 and we will take action against any retailers found doing so.”

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