A supervisor at a Manchester off-licence has been fined £750, including £250 costs, after he allowed staff to sell drink to under-age customers. Mirza Baig, who worked at Thorosaver in Stretford, admitted breaching licensing regulations when he appeared before Trafford magistrates. Baig's lapse came despite being fined for a similar offence at another off-licence in 2005. He was caught in a sting operation by
Standards officers in which he sold bottles of Grolsch to a 16-year-old.
A Coventry off-licensee who had applied to open until 5am has dropped his plans "out of respect for the police and local residents". Jagdish Singh, owner of Godiva Wines in the Radford district, changed his mind after a petition containing 19 signatures was raised.
Tracker system launched
A scheme to mark packs of alcohol to trace products being consumed by under-age drinkers back to where they were bought has been launched in Woodsetton in the West Midlands. Off-licensees have been given a n ID number and a roll of stickers with the number on them which they can put on every bottle and can sold.
Licensees win 24-hour bid
Two neighbouring off-licences owned by
the same operator in north London have been granted permission to sell alcohol round-the-clock. Star News and Muzzi's, both in Newington Green and owned by Red Red Wine (London), succeeded in the face of local objections.
Hunt for ram-raiders
Police in Preston are investigating an incident in which a stolen car was driven through the window of an off-licence in the Fulwood area of the city. DS John Crichton from Preston CID said the ram raid at the Bargain Booze store had appeared to be "an unplanned and desperate attempt to get some beer". Damage to the shop was described as "extensive" and thieves made off with a quantity of beer.
An off-licence owner who was beaten up outside his store has dismissed his his attacker's sentence as a "slap on the wrists". Kahlid Hussain was attacked outside the Premier c-store in Middleton, Greater Manchester. David Spencer, 43, was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £50 compensation.
A thief fell into a display to distract staff at a Lancashire off-licence. The raider and an accomplice are alleged to have stolen five cans of lager after using the bizarre tactic at Parmar's Off-licence in Leyland.
Call for curbs
Campaigners in Islington, north London, are calling for curbs on new off-licences. Residents in the Archway area claim there are 57 stores selling alcohol, one for every 316 people.