Dagenham off-licence punished for selling alcohol to minors

PUBLISHED: 12:01 09 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:01 09 October 2014

An off-licence that sold alcohol to minors has temporarily lost its alcohol licence after it was accused of having a “blasé attitude”.

An off-licence that sold alcohol to minors has temporarily lost its alcohol licence after it was accused of having a “blasé attitude”.

The shop in Wood Lane, Dagenham – formerly a branch of Costcutter – had its licence suspended for three months by Barking and Dagenham Council’s licensing and regulatory board at a meeting on October 1.

Pc Corinne Holland, in written evidence, said: “I agree the management have a blasé attitude to their responsibilities and do not instil any confidence that they are a professionally run business.”

She described how one shop cashier, Abdullah Tekagac, was unable to speak any English.

Pc Holland said: “If a cashier, who has the responsibility of selling age-restricted products, cannot speak any English, how are they expected to ask the appropriate questions to customers in order to verify their age?”

She raised this with company director Mehmet Koten on March 7, who said Mr Tekagac was just helping out and didn’t usually work there.

But when Pc Holland returned with a Trading Standards officer, after the shop sold alcohol to a minor in a “test purchase”, Mr Tekagac was back behind the counter.

Mr Koten, the shop’s director, told the Post having Mr Tekagac behind the till was a mistake and that he has been sacked.

He said: “People around our shop know we don’t give alcohol to anyone without ID.”

He added that they were hiring trained staff and that these mistakes were “not continuous” and would “stop forever”.

Mr Tekagac sold alcohol to a 14-year-old on May 23 in another test purchase, despite apparently having taken a Personal Licence Holder course.

Pc Holland said: “I feel there is poor inexperienced management at the premises who do not take their responsibilities seriously.

“Had they done so both underage sales of alcohol may never have taken place.”

A Costcutter spokesman: “The store in question ceased trading with Costcutter Supermarkets Group in January and as such we have no connection with this retailer.”

He added steps were being taken to remove the sign above the shop.

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