Mr. Hallmat Mahmood, aged 27, recently pleaded guilty at Wrexham Magistrates Court to selling a can of lager to a 16 year old test purchaser. He was fined £2,200 and ordered to pay £80 costs plus a £15 victim surcharge.
The court heard that on 6 June 2012 at the Euro Delikatesy on the corner of High Street and Chester St, Trading Standards officers carried out an operation using a child volunteer, to monitor the sale of age restricted goods to those below the legal age limit of 18.
An employee of Mr Mahmood made the sale without questioning the age of the young person or asking for any proof of age whatsoever.
The seller was issued with an on the spot fixed penalty of £80 by Trading Standards.
Further investigation by Wrexham Council’s Trading Standards service showed that there were no checks or training for staff in place that would have helped to reduce the risk of sales being made. Consequently the decision was made to prosecute Mr Mahmood who, as the Licensee, is responsible for ensuring that staff are trained and that there are written procedures in place to ensure under 18s are not sold alcohol.
Cllr David Griffiths, Lead Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said “Protecting young people from harm is one of the key licensing objectives that all Licensees signup to when they apply for a license to sell alcohol. The Council is committed to reducing the harm that alcohol can cause when it is obtained by young people. The personal health, safety and wellbeing of underage drinkers is a major cause for concern.”
“Young drinkers render themselves more vulnerable once intoxicated and there are longer term implications regarding alcohol consumption for both physical and mental health.”
“The Council is supporting Licensees throughout the Borough with regular visits to check that systems and training are in place and up to scratch and to offer support and advice. However we will take legal action where we find sales taking place and no evidence of attempts by the Licensee to take their responsibilities seriously.”