Council prosecutes sale of alcohol to underage buyer

17 May 2013 @ 2.44 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

City of York Council has successfully prosecuted a licensed premise owner for the sale of alcohol to an underage buyer.

Yesterday (Thursday 17 May), York Magistrates Court suspended for four months the personal alcohol licence of Mehmet Altin, owner of the ELO off-licence on Hull Road, York. He was also ordered to pay almost £750 in fines and costs for selling alcohol to a 15-year-old boy.

Mr Altin pleaded guilty to the offence which occurred on 30 October 2012 when City of York Council’s Trading Standards officers asked a 15 year old boy to enter the shop and attempt to buy alcohol – a bottle of vodka-based alcopop – following complaints about illegal sales taking place at the store. Mr Altin himself sold the alcohol to the boy. The following day, officers repeated the process and another shop worker sold cider to the child. The shop worker received an £80 fixed penalty ticket for the second offence.

Mr Altin transferred his premise licence – the licence that permits alcohol to be sold from the store – to a third man last year, after being prosecuted for the sale of counterfeit and misdescribed vodka from the store.

The magistrates fined Mr Altin £100 and suspended his personal licence for four months, effective immediately. Mr Altin was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20 and the council’s costs in full of £626.98. Payment is to be at £30 per week and will be consolidated with his outstanding fines.

Trading Standards Officers have called for a review of the premise licence in which they are recommending that councillors consider revoking Mr Altin’s licence. That hearing is due to take place in June 2013.

Mr Altin made a short statement in mitigation. He said that since the offence he has taken a further licensing course and has carried out training with staff. His wife has also completed the course but is yet to hear her result. Mr Altin has the right to appeal.

Councillor Dafydd Williams, Cabinet Member for Crime and Stronger Communities said: “As outlined at our recent Crime Summit, City of York Council takes the sale of restricted products to children very seriously. With this penalty, the magistrates are sending out a clear message that the sale of alcohol to children is unacceptable.

“Our officers work with businesses to give advice on helping customer-facing staff prevent alcohol falling into the wrong hands. We support the use of Challenge 21 Policies and we ask that anyone who is asked for proof of age complies and respect that the shop staff are doing their job. As can be seen, there are serious consequences for staff of licensed premised who do not follow the rules.

“We also depend on information from the public to help us detect where illegal sales are occurring. Anyone with information about illegal sales of alcohol or tobacco – including sales of cheap and illicit products – is urged to contact the City of York Council’s trading standards team via the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 08454 040506.”

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