Published Wednesday 15 November 2017 at 15:00
Haslingden Road General store in Blackburn has lost its licence to sell alcohol following a string of offences for selling alcohol and tobacco to children.
The licence was revoked following a review by the Council’s licensing committee, which considered the latest incident in which the designated premises supervisor was prosecuted.
The prosecution in June followed a test purchase carried out by the Council at the shop in October last year, which saw the supervisor fail to ask a 16 year old for proof of age. The supervisor, Kenneth Bateson, 72, of Haslingden Road, Blackburn sold four cans of lager to the teenager. At Blackburn Magistrates’ Court he pleaded guilty and was fined £55, with £100 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
The Council’s licensing committee which met in October heard evidence from Trading Standards and the Police Licensing Sergeant Jason Middleton about the persistent problems at the shop, which date back to November 2014. The officers said that they had tried to work with the licensee to promote due-diligence procedures at the shop and to put in place measures to prevent underage sales. However, the shop had neglected to put in place adequate measures and continued to fail subsequent test purchases of alcohol.
The prosecution of Mr Bateson was his second prosecution for selling alcohol and cigarettes to underage children. In addition, he was also given a police caution for a separate underage sales of alcohol offence in August 2015. The committee also heard that complaints had been received from concerned parents and the nearby school.
Sgt Jason Middleton of Lancashire Constabulary, said:
“Concerns regarding the repeated selling of alcohol and cigarettes to under 18’s at this shop and bearing in mind its close proximity to a busy High School meant that Lancashire Police fully supported this application by Blackburn with Darwen Trading Standards to review the premises licence of the shop.
“The law is quite clear when it comes to selling alcohol and tobacco to under 18’s and for obvious reasons as underage alcohol and cigarette sales have a negative impact on us all in some way.”
Councillor Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said:
“This case demonstrates that we are willing to work with local businesses but if they don’t take our advice and flout the law, we will take action. It is not acceptable for anyone to sell cigarettes and alcohol to underage young people and I hope this example will be a warning to others who think that the rules don’t apply to them.”