Newport off-licence owner "sold beer to 13-year-old"
4:06pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
A NEWPORT off-licence owner is facing having his premises licence reviewed after he sold beer to a 13-year-old girl.
Tahar Mohammed sold a can of Stella Artois to a 13-year-old test purchaser at his International Food Market shop in Commercial Road, Pill, in October last year, according to Newport council documents.
The owner of the shop, who had sold the girl a can of Stella Artois, was later prosecuted and fined in Abergavenny Magistrates’ Court.
A request for additional conditions to be added to Mohammed’s premises licence will be heard at a hearing this Thursday.
Newport council’s trading standards department held a test-purchase operation entitled Operation Dreamcast on October 30, according to a council report.
A 13-year-old girl was sent to the shop and purchased a cab of Stella Artois from a man later identified as Mohammed, who is the owner of the business and its designated premises supervisor.
It emerged, when he was interviewed under caution, that despite his licence stipulating he should keep CCTV recordings for a minimum of 31 days he kept them for only seven. His licence conditions also stipulated he operate a strict “no proof no sale” policy for anyone under the age of 21 – but Mohammed said in interview he operated an “18 policy”.
On August 5 at Abergavenny Magistrates’ Court Mohammed was fined £620 for breaches of the Licensing Act, and was also ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs and a £120 victim surcharge. He had pleaded guilty to all charges against him.
According to the council report trading standards officers recommended that four conditions are added to the licence for the shop, including that a scheme where people who appear to be less than 21 years old are challenged for identification is put into operation, and that a refusals book is maintained. Officers also requested that documented training for all staff should also be introduced.
Members of the Newport council licensing sub-committee will consider whether to amend Mohammed’s licence when they meet at Newport Civic Centre on Thursday at 9.30am.
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