Shop sold alcohol to teenager

A SHOP which knowingly sold alcohol to a 13-year-old girl had its licence revoked by the Licensing and Regulatory Board last week. Police were shocked after an employee at Pick and Save in Green Lane, Dagenham, allowed the youngster to buy drink and laug

A SHOP which knowingly sold alcohol to a 13-year-old girl had its licence revoked by the Licensing and Regulatory Board last week.

Police were shocked after an employee at Pick and Save in Green Lane, Dagenham, allowed the youngster to buy drink and laughed about the fact that she was underage.

The girl, who is a police volunteer, went into the store in February and picked up a bottle of Red Square, which contains vodka.

Shop assistant, Navaratnaraja Geethan, asked her if she had any ID and how old she was.


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The girl replied that she had no ID and twice said she was 13 - police volunteers for test purchases are not allowed to lie about their age.

Mr Geethan started laughing and sold her the alcohol anyway, repeating twice that she was not 18.

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Officers asked for a review of the premises' licence as this was the second time in a year the shop had sold drink to minors.

In April 2008 alcohol was bought by 14-year-old police volunteers at Pick and Save.

Police said they were extremely concerned about the lack of training given to staff and about Mr Geethan's blatant disregard for the law.

Licensing officer, PC Andrew O'Connor, said: "The circumstances of the failure are particularly shocking.

"The seller confirmed the volunteer did not have ID and twice confirmed her age as 13, then stated another two times that she was not 18.

"The facts of this case point to a seller who just did not care that he was selling alcohol to a 13-year-old girl."

In his report to the Licensing and Regulatory Board, PC O'Connor stated that the police have no confidence in the shop's management.

Licensing officers recommended several conditions be placed on the premises' licence, including a Challenge 21 policy, sale refusal books be kept, CCTV throughout the store and staff training logs be kept.

However, when the board met last week, it decided to revoke Pick and Save's licence to sell alcohol.

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