Dudley shop facing licence review after underage booze sale by illegal worker
A store near Stourbridge is facing a review of its alcohol licence after being caught selling booze to an underage customer and hiring an illegal worker.
In a double swoop, a worker at Dhanda Off Licence & Convenience Store, in Kniver Street, Wordsley, was caught red-handed after licensing officers sent a 16-year-old volunteer into the shop to try and purchase alcohol.
After the teen paid £5.95 for a pack of cider without being asked for identification, officers entered the shop and challenged the member of staff. However, during the discussion they realised that the male staff member was working illegally.
He was subsequently served with a penalty notice despite claiming that “he was not working at the shop but covering for the owner".
Dudley Council licensing officer Nick Slym said: “He said he had been working at the shop for a 'few months' and planned to continue working there for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Slym also stated that the owner failed to provide receipts and invoices for purchases despite multiple visits from licensing officers.
The owner of the shop has since appeared before the council's licensing committee and could be banned from selling alcohol in future.
West Midlands Police stated: “Following the sale of alcohol to a 16-year-old child volunteer and the employing of a member of staff, who was the seller at the time, in breach of the conditions set out in their right to work visa whilst residing in the UK, West Midlands Police wishes to support the review of the premises licence.
“Employers can check their employees have the correct right to work and ensure their documents are valid. This clearly has not been done.
“Lastly, the sale of alcohol to a child is in direct contravention of the licensing objectives and therefore we fully support Trading Standards recommendations for additional conditions to be placed upon their licence.”
The shop has been contacted for comment.