Family-run store can sell booze
A FAMILY-RUN newsagents banned from selling alcohol after being caught in possession of illicit booze has had the embargo lifted following an appeal.
Peterborough City Council revoked the alcohol licence of Eastfield News, in Eastfield Road, Peterborough, in August last year following a joint operation between the authority, police and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Back in April 2011, HMRC officers seized a total of 18.2 litres of vodka, 93.75 litres of wine and 168 grams of “Blunt Wrap” smoking wraps, as duty totalling £414.61 had not been paid on the goods.
Store owner Parvez Akhtar and his brother Mohammed Tanveer, the licence holder, decided to appeal the decision and a hearing was held at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The court heard that the illicit goods had been bought by Basrat Hussain, the 20-year-old son of Mr Akhtar in a “oneoff incident” without either his father’s or Mr Tanveer’s knowledge.
Mr Hussain said that he bought the goods for around £450 from a trade representative using spare change at the premises and believed that the goods were genuine.
Ken Peachey, chairman of the mag- istrates, said that although the store’s management had been “ineffective” in allowing Mr Hussain to buy the goods, the decision by the council’s Licensing Committee to revoke the store’s licence had been “disproportionate to the offence”.
The store was given back its licence to sell alcohol with three conditions attached to the agreement.
These are that the store has two designated members of staff to make purchases of alcohol; all invoices for purchases of alcohol must be kept on the premises; and that records of suppliers are kept up to date with regular spot checks.
Sarah Clover, a solicitor acting on behalf of Eastfield News, said after the hearing: “This was a fair result.
“The licence should never have been revoked in the first place.”
The court heard that following the incident, Mr Hussain was suspended and given re-training.
Other members of the family, who have run the store for 11 years, were ordered to attend refresher training programmes and achieved relevant qualifications.
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