Haverhill man Sivasubramaniam Balamurugah made to pay more than £3,000 after pleading guilty to selling alcohol to minors

Haverhill High Street

Haverhill High Street - Credit: Archant

A businessman from Haverhill has been fined for selling alcohol to under 18s.

Sivasubramaniam Balamurugah, who runs Primrose Mini Market in Haverhill, pleaded guilty to the offence at Bury St Edmunds’ Magistrates’ Court today having previously denied the charge.

On January 10 last year an underage alcohol test purchase operation was carried out in Haverhill.

At Primrose Mini Market two cans of Red Stripe lager were sold to a test purchase volunteer who was only 15-years-old.

This followed a previous incident in 2013 where the store sold a bottle of wine to a 16-year-old.

Steve Greenfield, Suffolk County Council’s head of Trading Standards said: “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 important to keep a written record of the training you have provided, ensuring the records are signed and dated.

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“I would also encourage retailers to consider implementing a challenge 25 policy to make it easier for staff to identify those under the age of 18 years.”

Mr Balamurugah was ordered to pay a fine of £1,500, £1,500 in prosecution costs and a £150 victim surcharge by magistrates.

They also indicated any future sales of alcohol to minors could put the business’ license in jeopardy.

Anyone who has information about premises or areas of the county where they believe young people are being sold alcohol can report it to Trading Standards on 03454 040506 or tradingstandards@suffolk.gov.uk.