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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Bradford off licence fined for sale of beer to 14 year old

Mr Mohammed Jamal from Bradford appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court on 18 April, regarding the sale of a bottle of Corona 4.5% lager to a child under the age of 18, at Lynxes Off Licence, 42 Sunbridge Road, Bradford, BD1 2AB. Mr Jamal at a previous hearing had entered a plea of not guilty, so the matter was expected to be heard as a trial on 18 April. However, on the day Mr Jamal changed his plea to guilty of the offence under the Licensing Act 2003 and was fined. The Magistrates reduced the fine to £145 because of his eventual guilty plea. He was also ordered to pay a surcharge of £58 and costs of £2825.05.

The case was launched after West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service (WYTSS) received complaints about the premises selling alcohol to underage children.

In September 2022 a fourteen-year-old volunteer entered the shop, under the supervision of a Trading Standards Officer, and went to the counter with a bottle of Corona beer which had an ABV of 4.5%. He was able to buy the bottle of Corona beer for £1.79, without being challenged about his age or asked for any form of ID by the seller. It is an offence to sell alcohol to a person under the age of 18.

Mr Jamal, the Director and Premises Licence holder of the business was interviewed after the sale took place. During the interview Mr Jamal said he was the owner of Lynxes Off Licence. He stated that he generally took precautions to prevent sales to persons under the age of 18 and there are warning signs in the shop stating no sale to under 18’s and that he operates a Challenge 25 policy. He  said he believed he had taken all reasonable precautions. However, since the interview Mr Jamal has introduced a refusals book, in which the staff record any refusals of sales of age restricted products. No further complaints regarding age restricted sales have been received since the test purchase.

David Strover, Trading Standards Manager  –  Business Services Team said, “we wrote to this business to make them aware of a complaint we had received and informed them a test purchase may follow.  Off licence proprietors need to ensure they ask for identification for all customers who look under 25, as we do make regular test purchases to investigate complaints about underage sales from members of the public.”

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