Saturday, 5 September 2009

Treforest shopkeeper prosecuted

A Treforest Licensee has been convicted and fined after one of his staff members sold cider to a 14-year-old girl.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Trading Standards officers uncovered the offences at Boughan Stores during one of their many routine test purchase operations that take place to check licensed premises are operating safely, legally and responsibly.

On this occasion, March 13 this year, the female volunteer was sold a two litre bottle of Strongbow by a staff member at the Park Street premises, which is also known as Treforest Stores.

As a result, Jastjit Rana, 23, was charged with four offences under the Licensing Act 2003 because, as Premises License Holder and Designated Premise Supervisor, the actions of his staff are his responsibility.

He admitted the offences at Rhondda Magistrates’ Court.

The charges included one for the underage sale and three for breaching his license, namely:

1.Not operating the “25” age-check policy required to operate as part of the shop’s license conditions.

2. Failing to ensure a Personal License Holder was present when officers arrived to speak to him about the offence and;

3. Allowing Harinder Brar to work at the premise selling age-restricted goods when it was a condition of the license that Brar would not serve customers or be involved in the operation of the business.

Rana, who told the court the sale happened when he was away from the premises briefly, was fined a total of £435 and ordered to pay £300 costs and a victim’s surcharge.

David Jones, Head of Community Protection at
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “License conditions are in place to allow us to work with premises to ensure the highest-possible standards are upheld.

“We introduce conditions, such as age-check policies, the need to have management on site and other examples for a reason – to enable safe, responsible licensed premises and protection of the public.

“If those conditions are breached, then we have no choice but to take action, as was the case with Boughan Stores, which has a history of non-compliance.

“It once again serves as a reminder to licensed premises that we do work proactively and hold test purchase operations and they need to ensure they, and their staff, know the law. I urge those who are unclear to make contact with our officers, who will be pleased to offer advice."

Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Community Safety Partnerships have secured funding from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Making the Connections fund to run a series of free training sessions for licensees and some staff.

They include:

  • DPS On-licence sessions for those who manage or own pubs and clubs, which is accredited by the British Innkeepers Institution (BII).
  • Off-Licence courses for those who run such venues, including topics on ethnicity, race relations and the language barriers that often cause issues due to the large number of ethnic minorities who run such shops
  • Award for Responsible Alcohol Retailing, which is a nationally-recognised award also from the BII and is aimed at staff in pubs and clubs in town centres.

A series of sessions have already taken place, with more planned for September 15, 25 and 29th and then a further round in October. All are free and places can be booked on 01443 425351.


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