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Licence revoked of Sutton Bridge shop City Stores where illegal worker served child

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A village shop has had its right to sell alcohol revoked after an illegal worker sold booze to two 15-year-olds.

Members of South Holland District Council stripped City Stores in Sutton Bridge of its licence at a hearing yesterday (Wednesday) morning.

Lincolnshire Police had asked for a premises licence review at the Bridge Road store after conducting a test purchase operation there with Trading Standards on Tuesday, August 24.

City Stores in Sutton Bridge.
City Stores in Sutton Bridge.

The operation targeted premises where there were known alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour issues.

A Licensing Panel - consisting of councillors Henry Bingham, Jack Tyrrell and Nick Worth - heard written and verbal evidence from police and owner Arumugam Sarankan.

It ruled: "The Panel have no confidence in the management of the premises and that the conditions of the Premises Licence will be adhered to in the future."

Conditions had already been placed on the store after a similar incident in 2011.

According to a report prepared for the hearing, two 15-year-old volunteers visited City Stores at 6.30pm, without wearing face masks and were served a bottle of 4% pink Hooch.

The man who served them asked for ID, but sold them the alcohol when they said they’d left it at home.

Immigration checks showed he was Sri Lankan, his visa had expired in 2014 and he was therefore in the country illegally, with no right to work. He was arrested and transported to custody to be dealt with by the immigration service.

Coun Anthony Casson, district council portfolio holder for public protection, said: “It is always shocking to hear when something like this takes place in our district, and I am extremely pleased that our Licensing Panel has taken the strongest action available to us against these premises today by revoking their licence.

“The safety and well-being of our residents is always the primary concern of the panel, and it is important that as a council we set the clear expectation that we cannot and will not tolerate illegal behaviour that puts children and young people at risk.”

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