Family shop sold booze to children

KD's off licence, North Road Boldon Colliery.
KD's off licence, North Road Boldon Colliery.
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A FAMILY-run store which sold booze to children has had its alcohol licence suspended for three months.

Trading standards officers sent two child test purchasers into KDs off-licence in North Road, Boldon Colliery, in April and July last year.

On both occasions, staff handed over booze to the youngsters. A two-litre bottle of cider was sold to a 16-year-old boy at the premises on April 5.

Then on July 19, four cans of Budweiser lager were sold to another 16-year-old.

CCTV cameras were not working at the store, staff had not received the necessary licensing training and a refusal register was not available for examination.

As a result of the test purchase breaches, trading standards’ officers were granted a review of the venue’s licence.

This week, South Tyneside Council’s licensing sub-committee suspended the outlet’s alcohol licence for three months and imposed a series of conditions, including installation of a camera on the till and shopfloor an improved staff training.

Sandeep Singh Dhadda, who was directly responsible for one of the illegal sales, has also been removed as designated premises supervisor.

Coun Arthur Meeks, chairman of the sub-committee, said: “As a committee, it is our duty to protect children. We don’t want to see businesses close down, but we cannot tolerate such disregard of licensing laws.”

Speaking at the committee, shop proprietor Paul Kang admitted the illegal sales “shouldn’t have happened”.

Mr Kang said at the time of the incidents, he’d been absent from the premises attempting to prevent another business on Wearside going into administration.

He said: “There is no excuse for what has happened and I am offering none.

“What happened shouldn’t have happened.”

Mr Kang, who has 21 days to appeal the decision, also revealed he was now seeking a buyer for the business.

The premises will continue to operate as a general dealers but will be unable to sell alcohol during the period of the ban.

All alcohol for sale must be removed from the premises within three weeks, if no appeal is forthcoming.