Shops caught selling booze to kids have licences pulled

PUBLISHED: 17:21 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:28 25 August 2010

A NEWSAGENT boss who thought it was legal to sell booze to kids had his drinks licence pulled.

A NEWSAGENT boss who thought it was legal to sell booze to kids had his drinks licence pulled.

Bexley council's licensing sub-committee revoked the alcohol licence of Hari Newsagents, 11 Midhurst Hill, Bexleyheath, on September 24, after staff at the shop were caught selling alcohol to children under 18.

The committee said they were particularly concerned when one of the two licence holders, Sellathurai Sivanesasuntharam, told them "that alcohol should not be sold to children under 16 years of age".

This comes after the shop failed two test purchases organised by Bexley council.

On July 2, a 16-year-old boy bought two cans of Foster's lager without being asked his age.

And on December 22 last year, a 15-year-old girl bought a 35cl bottle of Smirnoff vodka and again was not asked for her age or to show identification.

Before this licence review, which began in July, Mr Sivanesasuntharam already had two previous convictions for under age sales. He was fined £675 with costs of £300 going to Bexley council in July 2005 after failing a test purchase organised by the council and the police.

A committee spokesperson said: "The reason for the decision is that there is a history of under age sales from these premises.

"The licence holder has two previous convictions for underage sales.

"Subsequent to these convictions alcohol has been sold to children on two occasions following test purchases at the premises.

"The licence holder has had no training in the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 and under questioning was unable to identify the licensing objectives."

Mr Sivanesasuntharam was unavailable to comment.

Meanwhile a Turkish supermarket had its drinks licence revoked after staff were also caught selling alcohol to children.

Bexley Licensing committee revoked the licence of TFC, 29-31 Upper Wickham Lane, Welling, on September 23 after failing two test purchases in a seven month period.

Manager Ilhami Kuyumcu said they were going to appeal the decision, which came after staff failed two test purchases in seven months, claiming that it was unfair.

A spokesperson for the committee said: "The Sub-Committee has no confidence in the current management, nor in the suggested alternative, and given that both individuals are shareholders in the company that holds the licence, they will continue to have some form of control over the premises.

"The Sub-Committee therefore has no option but to accept the recommendation of the Responsible Authorities to revoke the licence."

Last Thursday ST Superstore in Bellegrove Road, Welling also had their licence application refused.

And on Monday, Alers Stores in Bexleyhath had its licence revoked after one of its licence holders, Hardeep Singh, failed a test purchase on July 24 which resulted in a two girls aged 14 and 15 walking away with alcohol.

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