Shop licence suspended over under-age alcohol sales

A Shrewsbury shop has had its liquor licence suspended for two months.

The licence was revoked by Shropshire Council's Licensing Sub Committee in January 2011 after a series of under-age sales.

The Local in Shoplatch appealed and on Thursday District Judge Nigel Cadbury made his ruling at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court.

The off-licence will have to trade under strict new conditions when its licence is restored.

In January Shropshire's police licensing officer, Tony Mantle, told the committee that The Local had made repeated sales of alcohol to under-age customers over an 18-month period and its licence had been reviewed four times.

He said he thought the off-licence had "reached the end of the road".

'Robust action'

In a joint operation, Shropshire Trading Standards and West Mercia Police officers had caught staff at The Local selling to under-age volunteers on three separate occasions.

The shop was allowed to remain open pending its appeal.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Mantle said police, trading standards and council licensing officials had been working with the new owners of the premises and, as a result, a "deterrent" period of suspension until 17 December had replaced the revocation.

He said "robust action" would continue to be taken where persistent alcohol sales to under-age people were evident.

"Yesterday's ruling sends out a clear message - sales of alcohol to people under 18 will not be tolerated," Mr Mantle said.

Two other licensed premises, in Bridgnorth and Oswestry, were forced to close for 48 hours last year for persistently selling alcohol to youngsters.