Release Date: 15/02/2021
An off licence where staff sold beer to a teenage girl has been prosecuted by Richmond Council, after a shop assistant admitted he was aware age restrictions applied but had not check the girl’s age.
Lakhwinder Khalsa, director of Lucky Food and Wine Ltd, trading as Lucky Wines, in Richmond Road, Twickenham, admitted the offence and was fined £175, ordered to pay £555 costs and a £15 victim surcharge when he appeared at Richmond Magistrates Court on 7 February.
The bottle of Cobra beer was sold to the girl, aged 15, in July last year by Tajmeet Khalsa, brother of the owner. He admitted he had not received formal age awareness training and did not ask her age even though he knew there were restrictions on certain products.
Following the illegal sale, Lakhwinder Khalsa was interviewed under caution by the Council’s Trading Standards officers. He said he had given basic training to the assistant, Tajmeet Khalsa, but admitted he did not keep any record of that training. He also said Tajmeet Khalsa would not work in the shop again and said he was going to sell the business.
The sale of alcohol to anyone under 18 is an offence contrary to s146 of the Licensing Act 2003.
Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Richmond Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “Selling alcoholic drinks to teenagers does nothing for our community and only serves to get youngsters drunk and potentially put them at risk. They will not learn responsible ways deal with alcohol by buying booze from a shop and I hope parents will feel as angry as I do that Lucky Wines made it so easy for a young girl to buy beer. The size of the payment ordered by the court should serve as a warning to other shopkeepers – if you gain a reputation for selling alcohol to young people, you will be found out and we will prosecute.”
If you are aware of any shop which could be selling age restricted products such as alcohol or cigarettes to underage customers, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or via www.consumerdirect.gov.uk