Wolverhampton shop loses licence over underage alcohol sales

A shop in Wolverhampton caught selling alcohol to under 18s has had its licence revoked by council bosses following a review this week.

Roma Wines off licence in Pendeford Avenue, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google Street View
Roma Wines off licence in Pendeford Avenue, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google Street View

Roma Wines, situated in the Tettenhall Regis ward, was witnessed allowing underage volunteers for the council to buy alcohol on several occasions.

Trading Standards said the off-licence, in Pendeford Avenue, was in clear breach of the licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm.

In a report to licensing chiefs, Tobacco Control Officer Dianne Slack said: “On October 21, 2020, information was received alleging that alcohol and tobacco was being sold from Roma Wines to children under 18.

“An underage test purchase was made using a 15-year-old volunteer for the council. The volunteer purchased a bottle of WKD alcohol. There was no attempt to ask her age, ask for identification or to lower her face mask.

“The seller of the alcohol, believed to be an owner of the shop, was spoken to following the sale by officers from Trading Standards and West Midlands Police. The volunteer had been refused at five other shops that evening.

“On December 16, 2020, during a Challenge 25 survey, a young looking adult attempted to purchase alcohol from Roma Wines to establish if the sale on October 21 was a mistake.

“The volunteer on this occasion was asked for identification by the sales assistant – but only after being reminded to do so by a woman also sitting behind the counter. A written warning letter was issued on May 12, 2021,” she added.

“On October 4, 2021, another complaint was referred to Trading Standards alleging underage sales from Roma Wines. On November 2, 2021, four cans of Budweiser beer was sold to a 16-year-old authorised council volunteer.

“No attempt was made to ask her age, ask for identification or lower her face mask to study her facial features. The volunteer had been refused age restricted products at four other shops that night.

“The sale was made by the owner and Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) Mrs  Rashwinder Singh Roshy. Officers from Trading Standards and West Midlands Police went into the shop after the sale to discuss what had happened,” said the report.

“Whilst there, it was noted that there was no statutory tobacco notice on display contrary to the Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991, and although there was a refusals book available to inspect, the last entry made in it was March 1, 2021. A traders notice was left.”

The council’s statutory licensing committee earlier heard from Mrs Singh Roshy’s solicitor Rob Edge, who said that at the time these incidents occurred she had been under enormous stress due to an illness in the family and had “taken her eye off the ball.”

Amitabh Singh, the council’s Section Leader for licensing, said: “The evidence provided indicates that they are not upholding licensing objectives and therefore putting the public at risk. The evidence shows a repeated and blatant disregard for public safety.”

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