A 14-year-old girl had to be rushed to hospital after being illegally sold alcohol at a Dingle shop.
In September this year, a teenager was able to walk into the store on Dingle Lane and buy alcopops without the need for identification. A Liverpool Council licensing and gambling sub-committee hearing was told how the girl and her friend had to be taken to Alder Hey Hospital having consumed so many of the illicit drinks.
As a result of the sale and a further breach of licensing terms, a panel of councillors have stripped the permission to trade alcohol from the business.
Jenny Davies, Liverpool Council public protection officer in the weights and measures team, told a committee hearing how a complaint had been received from a member of the public on September 4 about their granddaughter being sold alcohol despite being underage. As a result, a test purchase was carried out at the shop on September 7 involving a 15-year-old volunteer.
On this occasion, the teenage boy was able to buy four cans of lager without the need to provide identification. Ms Davies said when the sole staff member on duty was questioned about the sale, the individual said the boy “looked over 18” and they had only worked at the shop for a month and a half.
A further test purchase took place at Dingle Wines on September 17 when the sole person working in the shop was a 16-year-old. They sold vapes to a teenage volunteer on that occasion.
When questioned, the child on duty said they did not know the owner and had been asked to help out, thinking they were permitted to sell such items. Public documents listed Suliman Mohammed Bortatazaidani as the premises licence holder with Ahmed Atta named as the designated premises supervisor.
Ms Davies said despite numerous efforts, the council had not been successful in contacting the owners. She said how if the individuals responsible for the business “had worked with us, we wouldn’t be here”.
The officer added how it was in the Trading Standards team’s view the business was “no doubt a badly run premises” and “staff clearly do not know what they are doing.”
The hearing was told how attempts had been made to transfer the licence to a new, unnamed owner who had proposed adjourning the hearing to allow for new conditions to be drawn up and subsequently attached to the shop’s existing terms. After lengthy deliberations, the committee rejected this as given the “sufficient seriousness” of the nature of the hearing and it was in the public interest to continue.
After hearing the evidence, committee chair Cllr Christine Banks confirmed the licence would be revoked. The committee’s determination will not take effect until the end of the period for appealing against the decision – 21 days from receipt of written notice of determination – or if the decision is appealed, until the appeal is disposed of.
The LDRS attempted to contact Dingle Wines for comment.