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Attleborough newsagent has liquor licence suspended

PUBLISHED: 12:35 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:07 14 July 2010

An Attleborough newsagent has had his alcohol licence suspended for three months after he and his staff were caught selling lager and alcopops to under 18s.

An Attleborough newsagent has had his alcohol licence suspended for three months after he and his staff were caught selling lager and alcopops to under 18s.

The Quick Stop Grocery and Newsagent on Church Street was investigated three times in the last year by Trading Standards officers using under-age shoppers.

On December 12, June 9, and July 13, volunteers as young as 15 managed to buy lager and alcopops in the shop without being asked for ID.

After the tests, Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards officers applied for the licence to be reassessed by Breckland Council, recommending that the owner be removed from the licence and the sale of alcohol from the premises be suspended for three months.

Despite this, licence holder Fevzi Beckham was yesterday allowed to remain in his current role, but has been ordered to undergo refresher training from a licensing officer at Breckland Council.

He has also been ordered to install tills that record the member of staff's identity, and to train his employees in the responsibilities of selling alcohol.

During the Breckland Council licensing sub committee hearing yesterday, Mr Beckham explained via an interpreter that 30pc of the income from his shop comes from alcohol sales.

Michael Aston of the National Association of Turkish Restaurants, Takeaways and Supermarkets, who spoke on behalf of Mr Beckham, defended the sales as simple mistakes.

“There were definitely unfortunate circumstances. I think that over time you'll find that most businesses will make a wrong sale, or make a mistake,” he said.

However, Tony Glover, licensing officer for Norfolk Police, claimed that the number of the sales highlighted deeper problems.

“The licence holder and his staff have consistently demonstrated their inability, or unwillingness, to comply with the licensing laws and have been caught on three occasions selling alcohol in breach of these laws,” he said.

“It begs the question as to how many times other illegal sales have been made by staff from the premises, all of which could have contributed to local anti-social behaviour.”

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