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Off-licence has its booze bid rejected.

Byline: Katie Davies Chief Reporter

THE boss of a shop where booze was sold to a 14-year-old has had his bid to get a drinks licence rejected.

Nagabhushanam Akula, who works in Vallum Stores, in Lemington, Newcastle, was fined when he sold booze to the teenager in an undercover sting.

The shop's owner - Narasimha Rao Talasila - was also fined when trading standards officers found the premises didn't have a valid licence to sell alcohol.

Newcastle City Council and Northumbria Police have now dismissed an appeal from the boss of the store on Moorcroft Road to get a licence.

Deputy cabinet cember for community cafety and cegulation Coun Stephen Powers said: "Selling alcohol without a licence, and selling it to underage teenagers, are very serious offences, as they can fuel anti-social behaviour, which was a particular problem in this neighbourhood, and go on to cause health problems for the young people.

"This shop owner has not only incurred heavy financial penalties, but failed to convince the councillors that he should be granted a premises licence.

"The situation he finds himself in should serve as a stark warning to others that the city council will not hesitate to take action against those who flout the law."

Akula was fined PS70 and ordered to pay a PS20 victim surcharge, and Talasila had to pay PS290 and a PS29 victim surcharge, when they appeared before Magistrates in Newcastle in May.

A licensing hearing at Newcastle City Council heard details of the undercover operation led by trading standards officers in Newcastle and Northumbria Police.

A report from the licensing sub committee said: "At approximately 10.50am, David O'Brien, an inspector of weights of measures with the city council, requested that his colleague Mr William Flaherty enter the premises of Vallum Stores, at Moorcroft Road, in Lemington, Newcastle.

"Mr O'Brien then instructed the two child volunteers to enter Vallum Stores with a view to purchasing alcohol.

"Mr Flaherty observed one of the child volunteers select four cans of Strongbow Cider and take them to the shop counter where he was served by a gentleman behind the counter.

"The child was charged PS4.49 for the four cans of cider. At no time was the child challenged about his age or asked for identification by the seller."


Selling alcohol to minors "can lead to anti-social behaviour", says Coun Stephen Powers

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2014
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