Worker paid just £2-an-hour at Dudley shop
A store which paid an illegal immigrant just £2 an hour and sold alcohol to a teenager has had its licence revoked by Dudley Council.
Members of the licensing committee stripped Darby End Stores’ permit to sell beers and spirits after hearing submissions from officials at Trading Standards, the police, public health officers and the Home Office.
Councillors were told that on June 13 the store and the neighbouring Fryer chip shop, both on Northfield Road, were raided by immigration enforcement officers supported by West Midlands Police.
Two Indian men found working illegally in the store and chip shop and were detained by immigration officials.
Both businesses are owned by Mr Didar Singh who had bought the off-licence nine months earlier.
A Home Office official explained that, under caution, a 35-year-old man found working in the off-licence said he wasn’t employed by the business but received money as and when he needed it and had previously been given £100 for a working a 48 hour week.
The committee also heard a week after the raid, a 16 year-old volunteer working with Trading Standards officers was able to buy two cans of beer from the shop during a test purchase.
Councillors were told that despite having bought the shop last year Didar Singh had failed to apply for a premises licence in his own name and the present permit remained with its previous owner, Mr Harjinder Singh.
He explained to the committee that when he sold the business he wrongly assumed it would transfer automatically.
In a joint submission, all four agencies asked that permission to sell alcohol be withdrawn citing a failure to prevent crime and disorder and protect children.
Stripping the shop’s permit, councillors rejected a proposal to suspend it for a temporary period while the licence was transferred to Didar Singh.
In explaining their decision they said: “The committee is not satisfied that Mr Didar Singh has managed the premises in accordance with the licensing objectives. He has used a person with no right to work in the United Kingdom without appropriate checks and without appropriate employment obligations.
“The committee has considered suspending the premises’ licence but has rejected this because transferring the licence to Mr Didar Singh would not protect the licensing objectives in light of Mr Didar Singh’s actions over the last eight to nine months.
“The committee therefore finds it has no other option but to revoke the premises licence.”
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