Dagenham shop faces losing licence after selling white wine with red hue

A wine merchant faces losing his licence after selling white wine that had turned red and cigarette paper without health warnings at his store.

Green Lane Food and Wine in Dagenham was also fined �80 after a cashier let two boys aged 15 and 16 buy a vodka alcopop while apparently half asleep at the counter.

But today off-licence boss Rashid Hussain defended his business, saying he had inherited the wine from a previous owner.

Mr Hussain, 45, said: “That wine came with the shop when I bought it last November.

“One of my staff made a mistake selling the alcohol to underage customers but he was not half asleep.

“We’re doing what we can to ensure this does not happen again. This was my first mistake.”

Trading standards found the bottles of New Age Vin De Table wine on sale in a basket with an offer of “four bottles for �10”.

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The labels did not show the country of origin, which is against wine labelling regulations, according to a Barking and Dagenham Council report.

A total of 17 bottles were seized from the Green Lane store on June 29, as part of a licensing crackdown called Operation Condor.

Mr Hussain told the officers he had bought the Blunt Wraps cigarette paper with no UK health warnings from a travelling salesman, according to the council report.

The same evening, cashier Shafiq Hashmi sold a four per cent alcopop called WKD Blue to two underage boys.

The report stated the sales assistant appeared to be “half asleep resting on the counter”.

Trading standards are recommending that the shop be stripped of its licence for up to six weeks.

Licensing officer Theo Lamptey wrote in the report: “I feel that this premises licence should be suspended for a period of six weeks whilst appropriate training is given to all staff and all stock is thoroughly checked.”

Councillors are to make a decision on the licence at Dagenham Civic Centre on Tuesday, October 23.