11:44 Thursday 21 February 2013

No appeal over adult store licence court case

Written byBY HELEN KREFT

A COUNCIL has revealed it will not lodge an appeal against a court case it lost over the sale of sex items in an adult store.

Heelz Adult Store, in the Eton Business Park, off Derby Road, Burton, recently won a case against East Staffordshire Borough Council which claimed the store was operating without a specific licence to sell a significant amount of sex items.

Michael McGee, director of Heelz Adult Store, always denied his shop was selling the suggested amount of items and the case was then dismissed due to lack of evidence.

However, the council was given the standard 21 days in which to appeal against the verdict but has chosen not to, with a spokesman saying: “The council acted on a complaint received regarding Heelz Adult Store. On investigation evidence suggested that the store should be licensed as a Sex Establishment however on this occasion the magistrates found in the defendant’s favour. The council rightly pursues any business that they believe should be licensed.”

Mr McGee said: “I am pleased they are not appealing but this shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

“We primarily sell clothes, shoes and boots and a few sex items but not on the scale that the council claimed.

“As I have said before, Ann Summers sell an awful lot more sex items than we do and they do not have that licence so why should we?

“Anyone in the same position we were in needs to make sure they are not selling 18-rated DVDs as you need a licence for that and that goes without saying. They should also keep a log of what they are checking and present the court and the council with how many sex articles you are actually stocking.”

Mr McGee and his brother, David, had been running Heelz for a year before the licensing officer at the borough council came knocking in January 2012.

Two test purchases were made in which sex items were sold and the brothers were given an application to fill in for a proper licence.

Mr McGee said: “If we had four walls full of sex articles then yes I accept we would need a licence.”

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