Newbridge pub fined for alcohol sale to child
1:20pm Friday 5th October 2012 in Gwent news
THE owner of a Newbridge pub that sold alcohol to a 14-year-old girl has been fined nearly £900.
Two teenage girls, aged 14 and 15, were sold a bottle of the WKD Blue vodka drink each at the Newbridge Hotel on High Street.
They entered the premises in February this year as part of a test purchase operation by Caerphilly council’s trading standards team.
The manager working at the time was handed a penalty notice for disorder for £80, while the pub’s owner Kim Walker, Cyncoed, Cardiff, was charged with selling alcohol to underage girls.
He was summoned to appear at Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court earlier this week, but did not attend, with the case being proven in this absence and Walker, aged 53, found guilty. He must now pay a £400 fine, £482.02 costs and £15 victim surcharge.
Caerphilly council’s cabinet member for community and leisure services David Poole said: “Almost £900 and a tarnished reputation is a high price to pay for something which so easily have been avoided.”
He added: “While the majority of local licence holders take their licensing responsibilities seriously, the fact remains that a small minority continue to flout the law and allow alcohol to get into the hands of our young people – we cannot and will not tolerate this and we will pursue these cases through the courts as in this instance.”
Hotel owner Mr Walker said: “It was a busy night here when one of the bar staff took their eye off the ball. It was a mistake and it has not happened before and it will not happen again. The girl looked older than she was.”
Mr Walker’s solicitor, Stephen Clarke said: “Measures have been put in place to make sure this never happens again.
“My client did not attend the court date as we were sent the wrong court date of Wednesday October 10 at Abergavenny and would have attended on that date.”
To report a premises for the underage sale of alcohol in Caerphilly county, call the trading standards department on 01495 235 291.