Posted on: 27 February 2018
The owner of an off-licence has been ordered to pay almost £4,000 after alcohol was sold to an underage customer from his premises.
Abdullah Ulgut, 47, the proprietor of Value Booze on Cornhill, Bridgwater, Somerset, admitted that alcohol was sold to a 17-year-old test purchaser at Taunton Magistrates Court today (Monday 26 February).
The court heard that the sale was completed by Mr Ulgut’s father, who was alone in the shop and spoke little English.
However, as owner of the shop, licensee and the person responsible for sales, Ulgut was liable.
The purchaser was working for Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service as part of an operation testing the age verification policies of a number of shops in November 2016.
All the shops targeted had previously failed to check the age of volunteers who were over 18 but under 25.
The recommended procedure to avoid underage sales is for the shopkeeper to ask for identification for anyone who appears to be under 25, also known as ‘Challenge 25’.
Following the preliminary check, Trading Standards offered to advise the shop and have a training package called ‘No Proof of Age – No Sale’ which they make freely available.
The sale took place at Value Booze, 13, Cornhill, Bridgwater when a bottle of WKD with an alcohol content of 4% was sold to the teenager, with no questions asked.
Sedgemoor District Council had agreed to conditions on the premises licence including requirements for staff training and having at least two members of staff in the shop at any one time.
Mr Ulgut was fined £850 with a Victim Surcharge of £85 and full costs of £2,811.50 were awarded.
Stephen Gardiner, Interventions Manager at Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards, said:
“The sale of alcohol is age restricted to help prevent damage to children’s health as well as control the public nuisance that it can sometimes cause.
“We work extensively with local businesses to help them comply, but where they do not, we will also take legal action.”