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Major to minor – underage alcohol sale costs £1,200

The owner of a Leyton off-licence has been ordered to pay almost £1,200 as a result of the sale of just one bottle of alcopop to a minor. Mr Major Singh Mann, 61, the owner of Mann Off Licence, 855 High Road, Leyton sold a bottle of ‘WKD Original Green’ to a 14-year-old child.

Waltham Forest Council’s Trading Standards Enforcement Officers, accompanied by the police, carried out test purchases on 22 January as part of an exercise to deter the sale of alcohol to people under the age of eighteen.

The operation was the latest in a regular series of action taken by Trading Standards. During the operation a number of alcohol retail premises were visited to carry out test purchases. The sale of alcohol to minors is not only illegal and dangerous, but a significant contributory factor in encouraging anti-social behaviour within the borough.

Following the offence, Mr Major Singh Mann was interviewed and prosecuted by the Council, pleading guilty at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 4 December. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £740.62 and a victim surcharge of £40.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “There really is no excuse for selling alcohol to a 14-year-old. Anyone licenced to sell alcohol really does need to take that responsibility seriously.

“I appreciate it may seem inconvenient to check someone’s ID and the prospect of losing a sale because someone can’t prove their age can be galling. But we’re talking about the welfare of our children here and that cannot be taken lightly.

“As this prosecution highlights, the cost of taking a risk has cost this licensee about a thousand times more than he would have made on that sale. Not to mention what a young person unaccustomed to alcohol might have inflicted on both themself and others while under the influence.

“Rest assured we are out there checking and you will get caught. And then you will get court! Not to mention the very real possibility you will have your licence revoked.”

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