Dagenham off-licence escapes three-week ban

Underage sales: Costcutter in Lodge Avenue was caught selling alcohol to youths twice last year

Underage sales: Costcutter in Lodge Avenue was caught selling alcohol to youths twice last year - Credit: Archant

An off-licence has won an appeal against a suspension despite being caught selling alcohol to children in two trading standards operations.

Costcutter in Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, faced losing its licence for three weeks after staff allowed youths to buy the alcoholic drinks twice last year.

But council plans to apply for a three-week ban were abandoned as the shop agreed to a string of stringent conditions.

Shop owner Prakash Patel, 60, told the Post: “We went against it because all the staff get special training behind the counter.

“This opened our eyes. We do everything by the book now. We have a zero tolerance policy.”

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The shop near Stamford Road has agreed to have a licence holder on the premises at all times and implement a “Challenge 25” policy forcing young customers to produce a valid ID card to ascertain their age.

Costcutter also pledged not to split its alcohol multi packs to sell bottles and cans individually.

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Mr Patel lodged an appeal against the suspension of his alcohol licence, which could have taken effect this month.

But a council report published yesterday indicated this appeal may not have succeeded.

“This matter was seriously considered, in view of saving the costs of proceeding to a hearing, which on this occasion was likely to have a 50/50 chance of success,” the Barking and Dagenham licensing report stated.

“Also there was a high probability that the court may find the suspension unfair or unwarranted as the owner of the premises had addressed the issues by taking steps to ensure that this type of offence does not happen again.”

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