In Brief

04 May, 2007

First fake whisky, now vodka

A Croydon off-licence has been fined for selling counterfeit vodka, a year after the shop owner was warned for selling pirated whisky. Trading Standards officers found counterfeit 70cl bottles of Smirnoff vodka for sale at HK Discount Wines in London Road, Thornton Heath, during a routine check in August last year. Shop owner Gurmit Singh Kallah was fined £500 and ordered to pay court costs of £991 after pleading guilty at Croydon Magistrates' Court on April 23. The prosecution follows a warning given to Kallah in 2005 for selling counterfeit whisky.

Forced out by multiples

The owner of an Edinburgh wine shop has blamed cheap supermarket sales for forcing him to sell up after 10 years. Derek Tang, the owner of the Noble Grape in Brandon Place, put the shop on the market last week. Tang told the Scotsman his business had struggled as a nearby Tesco began selling more cut-price alcohol. He said: "Supermarkets have driven out a lot more independent shops. There's a lot of wine on the market, and there's a lot of choice. A lot of people also buy wine on the internet." Tang added: "The council should help out small businesses by cutting rents."

DVDs on tap in off-licence

A Norwich off-licence will become the first in the UK to have its own DVD vending machine. Crack-A-Jack's owner Sze-Ming Cheung will reopen the shop on May 7 complete with the machine. He said: "I know you already see off-licences and DVD rental together, but this is a new concept, because it means customers can do everything themselves. Gone are the days when DVDs were on a shelf at the back of the shop." He said: "I believe it's the way forward. It's easy for customers and the machine isn't big, plus we need to be giving something extra to people to survive in this industry."

Mallet man escapes prison

A 67-year-old man who put himself at risk to challenge a mallet-wielding burglar said he would not bother again after the man was spared jail. Vivian Lewis rang police after two men smashed their way into Wine Rack on Clive Road in Cardiff and held raider Anthony Lynch in a headlock until police officers arrived. Lynch, who had piled cigarettes and alcohol into an empty quilt cover, was given a 100-hour community punishment order at Cardiff Magistrates' Court. Lewis said: "I'd never do what I did again. What's the point? There doesn't seem to be any proper punishment."

Youth must pay compensation

A 15-year-old boy who threatened a member of staff at Threshers in Winsford, Cheshire has been sentenced. The teenager was sitting on a display board and became aggressive when the member of staff tipped it forwards to get him off. Elizabeth Pachl, chairman of the bench at Northwich Youth Court, revoked a 12-month referral order the boy was serving for a previous offence and gave him a supervision order. He was ordered to pay £202 compensation and £120 court costs.

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The shops that stand out from the madding crowd

The judges met last week to sort out the winners in the independent categories of our 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards. The results are top secret until the awards dinner on February 6 but it’s giving nothing away to report that the overall standard of those that will be revealed in the shortlist of finalists in the January issue of DRN is higher than it’s ever been.

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