Warning for East Lothian shopkeeper over schoolboy booze sale claims

A SHOP boss who allegedly sold bottles of strong alcohol to a schoolboy has been given a written warning by licensing chiefs.

By Marie Sharp
Monday, 30th November 2020, 12:30 pm
Shop at the centre of drink sales claim
Shop at the centre of drink sales claim

Police Scotland asked East Lothian Council’s licensing board to review the premises licence for the Day-Today store on Tranent’s Bridge Street following the alleged incident.

PC Graeme Bairden told a virtual meeting of the board that it was claimed the 14-year-old had bought three large bottles of alcohol – two containing Mad Dog 20/20 fortified wine and another Cactus Jacks Schnapps.

The teenager allegedly told the shop boss he would return with proof of ID later.

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The board meeting was told that the teenager’s stepmother called the police after he was found with the alcohol in his possession.

The incident was reported to police on October 2, after the boy told his family where he had allegedly bought the alcohol and claimed he had not been challenged about his age.

The board was told that Manish Kumar had taken over the lease of the shop in March, although there had been delays to paperwork due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The current premises licence was held by Mohammed Nadeem, whose son owns the store but who was not involved in its management since Mr Kumar took over.

Mr Kumar apologised to the board and the family of the teenager for the alleged incident.

His representative Alistair Macdonald said it was a one-off incident and Mr Kumar, who lives in Edinburgh, was in the process of applying for a personal licence to sell alcohol through the city’s licensing board.

However, he offered to bring the application to the East Lothian board if it was preferred.

The board ruled that a written warning would be issued to the premises licence holder Mr Naseem, and asked Mr Kumar to apply for his personal licence in East Lothian.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, board member, said: “The protection of young people from harm, particularly by making sure those underage are not sold alcohol, is critical to a licensing board’s policy.

“Anyone appearing under 25 should be challenged and in this case we are dealing with a 14-year-old. It is extremely serious.”

Marie Sharp , Local Democracy Reporting Service

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