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Booze ban store caught selling alcohol

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 12, 2014

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ALCOHOL worth £2,500 has been seized from a Burton off-licence just days after it was banned from selling booze.

Dozens of crates containing 1,200 cans of lager, plus 61 bottles of lager, 20 bottles of cider and 125 bottles of wine were confiscated from City Off Licence, in Wellington Street.

The store was caught selling the drink despite an application from Deria Hamad for a licence being thrown out earlier this month because of his criminal past.

Staffordshire Police’s licensing unit seized the goods as part of a routine check-up after the decision from East Staffordshire Borough Council.

Inspector Jed White, of the force’s licensing team, told the Mail: “It’s not something we haven’t seen before, and obviously there is a lot of cans and bottles.

“But the word we would use is disappointed, because the decision has been made yet when we went down we found the alcohol on display.”

The force had tenaciously opposed Mr Hamad taking over the reins at the off-licence after he was exposed selling counterfeit tobacco from a shop in Derby in 2010.

It was argued that granting him a licence would pose a risk to public safety and undermined crime prevention.

Insp White said: “We were following up the decision, we went down to the premises and found all this alcohol on display in public – the offence is exposing alcohol for sale.

“We want people to know that the licensing authority make their decision, and then we make sure the decisions are being followed.”

As a result of him not being granted the premises licence, an application for Mr Hamad to become the new designated premises supervisor was also thrown out.

The original licensee also surrendered his licence after the hearing.

In the wake the raid on the Derby store in 2010, requests from Mr Hamad to sell alcohol were refused, with licensing chiefs in Derby saying they had ‘no confidence’ in his ability to run a legitimate business.

Police in Burton have stepped up their bid to crackdown on the sale of counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes over the past year.

More than £10,000 worth of illegal cigarettes have been seized in the last six months alone.

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