Monthly mixed bag for licensees

Magistrates take measured view on six-week ban, Tesco Express fined £10,000 and Threshers manager to talk to teens in RDR round-up

A Lincolnshire Costcutter has overturned a six-week ban on selling alcohol after implementing a host of responsible retailing measures.

In February, the supermarket in Heighington was told its licence would be put up for review following three failed test purchases. Costcutter immediately sought legal advice and appointed a new



supervisor, adopted a Challenge 21 policy and trained its staff in how to avoid making under-age sales.

But at the review hearing the supermarket was told it must stop selling alcohol for six weeks. Unhappy with the decision, Costcutter lodged an appeal with Lincoln Magistrates Court, claiming that staff training would not be complete if they were unable to put it to the test.

On July 9, magistrates ruled that the ban should be lifted after hearing

the supermarket had passed three subsequent test purchases. Legal expert Peter Coulson welcomed the decision. "There's a tendency for some local authorities to see suspensions as a punishment. The magistrates took a more balanced view than the council did in this instance. It's a great success story and encouraging to other licensees," he said.

Sussex Police have warned retailers to check they have a



supervisor employed after a Tesco Express was caught selling alcohol without one. The Tesco in Dobbins Place, Crawley, West Sussex, was fined £10,000 and £1,200 costs at Crawley Magistrates' Court on July 9. Trading

Standards officers investigating a failed test purchase in October found the store had not replaced the DPS who had left in July 2006. Jean Irving,

Sussex Police licensing and public safety manager , said it was

unacceptable for businesses not to check with their local licensing authority before trading. In a statement Tesco said : "We accept errors were made at the store. Since the incident we have reviewed all our procedures and implemented changes to minimise the risk of this happening again."

lJustin Arkell, manager of a Threshers in Cheltenham, has been invited to a youth barbe cue to remind 13 and 14-year-olds it is illegal for them to buy alcohol. Cheltenham Police asked him to the event which aims to stop young people hanging around streets and engaging in under-age drinking.

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