Divorcing couple in bitter legal battle over Sunderland off-licence

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A DIVORCING couple are locked in a legal battle over an off-licence.

Ranjit Singh has launched a bid to take over the role of licence holder of the Premier Mini Market, in Redmond Road, Red House, from wife Kamaldeep Hayer.

The pair, who are currently going through divorce proceedings, are expected to officially separate in the coming months.

However, Sunderland Council has received a formal objection to the transfer application from his wife.

In a letter to its Licensing Sub-Committee, she wrote: “I have concerns my husband will try to transfer the premises licence into another person’s name without my consent.

“The reasons my thinking my husband will do this is because I have received confirmation of other terminals such as the National Lottery that he has tried to, and failed to, transfer such things as my consent is needed for the transfer.

“We are currently going though matrimonial issues, and until solved I have been told to advise all authorities and agencies that concern our joint businesses of what my husband is trying to do.”

Northumbria Police has also raised concerns about the application, highlighting Mr Singh’s conviction for fraudulent evasion of duty in 2006.

Appearing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, he was given a 12-month community order and told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £5,000 compensation to HMRC.

The case involved a total of 40,000 cigarettes.

William Sproates, from the force, said: “I note we have no consent on this application and the applicant states the licence is in the name of his estranged wife and he believes she will be unhelpful.

“Police intelligence confirms that an acrimonious situation has developed between Mr Singh and his wife, which has received police involvement.

“However, other concerns for the police involve Mr Singh’s position as designated premises supervisor.”

At a brief meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee, the case was adjourned until November 1.

Solicitors representing the couple said they hope to reach a settlement before that time to avoid a further council hearing.