Washington booze store under review after underage sales claims

The Eurostore off-licence and newsagent in Park Terrace, Concord, Washington.
The Eurostore off-licence and newsagent in Park Terrace, Concord, Washington.
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A NEWSAGENTS accused of selling alcohol to a teenager is to have its licence reviewed.

Police claim Eurostore in Concord, Washington, sold six litres of strong cider to a 15-year-old boy.

Now they have asked Sunderland City Council to consider tightening up the shop’s licence.

Officers say people living nearby have made “numerous” complaints about the newsagents selling alcohol to youths.

Shop worker Ramprasand Venkateswaran, known as Ram, denied selling alcohol to the boy on June 23.

Two plain clothes police officers in an unmarked car confiscated three two-litre bottles of Strongbow and White Ice from the teen as he was leaving Eurostore.

He admitted buying it there and was taken home to his parents.

When police returned, they said Mr Venkateswaran had cleared the shelves of two-litre bottles of cider and denied selling alcohol to the boy.

He was the only person in the store at the time and admitted having CCTV, but said it was not recording.

Police issued him with an £80 penalty notice, which has been paid.

But owner Issam Al-ayesh has failed to respond to three letters from police licensing officer, Sarah Howson, requesting a meeting.

A mother called police on July to complain her 14-year-old daughter had been rushed to hospital after buying alcohol from the store in Park Terrace.

Her daughter told her she had been sold the booze from under a desk, by a man who knew she was under 18, as she regularly went in wearing her school uniform.

Sunderland City Council licensing subcommittee members are now being asked to review the store’s licence, in a hearing due to take place later this month.

A report to the committee by Chief Inspector Sean McKenna demands a number of conditions be added to the legal document, including asking under 25s for photo ID when buying alcohol, implementing staff training and installing a working CCTV system.

The report adds: “Significant public nuisance is also caused when groups of youths congregate in the local area in the ready expectation of obtaining alcohol.

“Broken bottles, criminal damage and unruly behaviour by drunken youths causes distress to local residents and reduces quality of life for those living in the area.”

Councillors will consider the police’s request at a hearing on December 12.

Twitter: @janethejourno