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£722 for a bottle of alcopop

A Leyton shopkeeper is counting the cost of selling alcohol to a 15 year old child last summer, following a prosecution brought by Waltham Forest Council that saw him £722 out of pocket – minus what he charged for the bottle.

On 15 July last year the Council mounted an exercise to deter the sale of alcohol to children. The Council’s Trading Standard’s team regularly carry out test purchases to ensure vendors in the borough are complying with the law and to prevent anti-social behaviour caused by underage drinking.

Trading Standards Enforcement Officers went to a number of alcohol retail premises in the borough, assisted by a 15 year child, who was obviously below the legal age for purchasing alcohol.

The minor went into Orient Supermarket at 212 High Road, Leyton and purchased a bottle of ‘WKD Original Blue’ alcohol. Mr Sinan Demir, 49, of Hulse Avenue, Barking, appeared at Thames Magistrates Court on 9 October 2015 and pleaded guilty to the offence. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £502 and a victim surcharge of £20.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “We won’t tolerate this sort of thing in our borough. Shopkeepers have a duty to ensure they are abiding not only by the terms of their license, but by the law.

“Selling alcohol to minors is exploitative and dangerous and our officers are out and about ensuring that anywhere that sells alcohol does so responsibly. Don’t think that this is a one-off – we catch traders such as Mr Demir all too regularly and we will continue to punish them whenever we uncover them.

“Rest assured we will not let up on these sorts of operations. If this exercise proves anything it is not just that we will catch and prosecute traders neglecting their duties to protect our young people, but that the courts will back us up.”

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