Ilkeston retailer fined for selling alcohol to an underage person

Published on: Tuesday, 30th April 2024
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An Ilkeston shopkeeper and business have been fined £400 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge after admitting to selling cider to an underage person.

Manmohan Singh Heer, 55, who runs Heer’s News in Station Road, Ilkeston, appeared before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates on Monday (29 April), to face a charge of selling alcohol to an underage person, contrary to the Licensing Act 2003.

The successful prosecution was brought by Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards following an investigation by officers on the team.

The court heard that test purchase exercises were carried out at the store by trading standards officers in January 2023 during which a sale of four cans of Strongbow Dark Fruits Cider (4.0% alcohol by volume), was made to a volunteer who was under 18 years of age. No age or ID checks were carried out at the time of the sale. The person’s real age was 15 years and five months. 

The offence occurred despite a previous test purchase conducted by trading standards officers in July 2022 when a sale was made to a child under the age of 18. Following the first test purchase, the business was provided with comprehensive advice and guidance from trading standards officers. 

On Monday 29th April 2024, Magistrates imposed a fine of £400, with an order to pay £2,000 costs and a £160 victim surcharge.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “Tackling underage sales of alcohol is a priority for our trading standards team and they will do their best to follow up any complaints from members of the public about traders making underage sales.

“They will always try to work with traders and give full guidance and advice, with prosecution being a last resort. However, in this case, despite the guidance that was given, this trader has sold alcohol to an underage person.

“The law is clear and the reasons behind it include the safety of young people. We remain grateful to the public who alert us to traders flouting the law, and this successful prosecution sends out a strong message to traders who think the law doesn’t apply to them.”

People wanting to report any suspicions of the sale of age restricted products to young people should report them to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

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