Off licence sold booze to underage customers

Licence revoked: Best One on the corner of Station Road and Moon Street, Bamber Bridge
Licence revoked: Best One on the corner of Station Road and Moon Street, Bamber Bridge
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A South Ribble business has been fined more than £2,000 and had its alcohol licence revoked after staff sold booze to underage customers.

A court upheld South Ribble Council’s decision to revoke the off licence of the shop that was twice caught selling alcohol to children under 18.

Garthiga Chandrakumar, 24, licensee of Best One at Station Road, Bamber Bridge, appealed to South Ribble Magistrates Court against a decision by the council’s licensing sub-committee to revoke the licence in January 2012.

Magistrates dismissed her appeal after hearing that Best One had failed two test purchases by selling alcohol to children aged under 18 – one in November 2011 and a second on January 28 this year, just a few days before the licensing sub-committee met to consider the matter.

The court heard Ms Chandrakumar had also breached a condition of her licence after she failed to provide police with CCTV footage of an assault outside the premises, despite repeated requests by officers.

In addition, the court was told that the member of staff who sold alcohol in the first test purchase last November was an illegal immigrant, employed by the licensee.

As well as dismissing the appeal, magistrates ordered Ms Chandrakumar to pay costs of £2,328.

Coun John Rainsbury, Chair of South Ribble Council’s licensing sub-committee, said: “I am pleased the court dismissed the appeal and upheld the council’s decision to revoke the off licence for these premises.

“We make no apology for being tough on shops that sell alcohol to children under 18.

“It’s vital not only to protect the health of young people, but also to prevent anti-social behaviour and crime that has been fuelled by alcohol.

“Our officers work closely with local retailers, advising them on sales of alcohol, and we have just been running a joint initiative with Lancashire Trading Standards and Lancashire Police to tackle under-age drinking in Leyland and Bamber Bridge.”