Newsagent in booze ban

Bolton Street Booze and News.

Bolton Street Booze and News.

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A Blackpool shop has been banned from selling booze after it was caught selling alcohol to an under-age customer.

The Bolton News shop in Bolton Street, South Shore, failed an under age test purchase operation earlier this year.

A council licensing committee revoked the licence on June 5, but the shop’s owner Sithamparapillai Thevakanthan appealed the decision.

The shop was allowed to continue selling alcohol until the appeal was heard.

But now the panel’s decision has been upheld by Blackpool Magistrates Court and the shop must now stop selling alcohol with immediate effect. The shop was visited by the young volunteer on February 21. Despite the volunteer being just 16 years old, the shop failed to check for ID before selling bottles of Desperado beer

During follow up visits, non-duty paid alcohol was also found on sale in the premises and concerns were raised about staff training records, leading to a license review.

After the original hearing, the shop’s solicitor Trevor Colebourne, said after the hearing that Sithamparapillai Thevakanthan, who took over as its designated premises supervisor (DPS) and licence holder was ‘very disappointed’ with the decision and was concerned they might close if they could not sell alcohol.

He said: “It’s a harsh decision. There are other things they could have done, like suspending the licence for a short period.”

However, the committee in its decision notice said: “We believe the concerns are so serious that only revoking the licence is an appropriate and proportionate response to remedy them.”

Today Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for public safety and enforcement, said: “One of our primary duties as a council is the protection of children. Shops who sell alcohol to children will therefore face the strongest possible action and can expect to find themselves in front of the licensing panel with the possibility of having their license to sell alcohol revoked.

“This case should serve as a reminder to businesses that it’s easy to prevent children from being sold alcohol – if in any doubt whatsoever, check for ID.” She added any businesses needing information about complying with licensing regulations could visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/business or email licensing@blackpool.gov.uk.