Town centre shop banned from selling alcohol for 4 weeks

A shop in Worthing town centre will be barred from selling alcohol for four weeks after one of its staff was fined for handling stolen goods.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 5:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:00 pm
Montague Stores will be unable to sell alcohol for four weeks once the suspension begins
Montague Stores will be unable to sell alcohol for four weeks once the suspension begins

Montague Stores, on Montague Street, had its license suspended by the Worthing Licensing Control Committee at a meeting at Worthing Town Hall last night.

“Selling alcohol to children on a licensed premises is very serious”, said Heene councillor Paul High, chairman of the committee.

“The committee will endorse the agreement between Sussex Police and Mrs Vishnukanthan. We are satisfied four weeks will act as a deterrent.”

The shop is run by Mr and Mrs Vishnukanthan, with Mrs Vishnukanthan the premises licence holder. Sussex Police called for the licence to be reviewed after Mr Vishnukanthan was arrested and later charged with handling stolen goods. He was convicted at magistrates’ court and charged £695.

The store also failed a test purchase in September 2015 when a male staff member sold alcohol to two 16-year-old children, observed by a plain clothed police officer.

Mrs Vishnukanthan and her lawyer reached an agreement with Sussex Police through mediation for the licence to be suspended for four weeks, as well as a number of conditions including the use of CCTV throughout the premises.

Jean Irving, Head of Licensing and Public Safety for Sussex Police, said:

“Entering into this agreement was not taken lightly, with Sussex Police considering the various options available.”

“This has been a very difficult process. We do believe this is the correct way forward”, she added.

David Dadds, the barrister representing designated premises license holder Mrs Vishnukanthan, said of her husband’s conviction: “Mrs Vishnukanthan was never questioned or arrested in relation to that matter. Her standing remains as a person of good character.”

After a brief discussion the committee voted to endorse the agreement between Mrs Vishnukanthan and Sussex Police. In his closing statement Mr High also recommended the store join the Enough is Enough campaign.

The ban is expected to take effect from September 5, subject to any appeals.