Washington booze store stripped of licence over underage sales

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 NEWSAGENT’S accused of selling booze to underage drinkers has been stripped of its licence.

Police claim Eurostore, in Concord, Washington, regularly sold alcohol to teenagers, using a back entrance of the terraced property to make illicit sales.

Officers also said people living nearby had made “numerous” complaints about it, including a mother whose daughter had been admitted to hospital after purchasing booze from the outlet.

Now, the business has been stripped of its licence at a meeting of Sunderland Council’s Licensing Sub-committee at the civic centre.

After hearing evidence of the claims, Councillor Peter Gibson said: “We have decided to revoke the licence for the store.”

Earlier, the meeting was told how Northumbria Police had received “numerous” complaints from residents about the newsagent’s selling alcohol to youths.

It also heard how shopworker Ramprasand Venkateswaran, known as Ram, had previously denied selling alcohol to a 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.

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

However, since then, owner and licensee Issam Al-ayesh has failed to respond to a series of letters from police licensing officer Sarah Howson, requesting a meeting.

“It is clear that the premises licence holder is not taking his responsibilities seriously,” Ms Howson told the hearing.

The committee was also told how a mother called police 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.

Mr Al-ayesh was today not available for comment.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho