16:41 Friday 06 December 2013

Pub teen sales lead to licence hearing

Written byMARK MCKAY

TWO Burton pubs which sold alcohol to children will have their licence reviewed.

Barmaids Rebecca Bell, at the Devonshire Arms, in Station Street, and Kerrie Bartram at The Royal Oak, in Market Place, received a £90 fine for selling WKD drinks to youngsters in the police operation on September 13.

Officers selected a 16-year-old girl and three 15-year-old girls to buy the drinks because they looked underage.

East Staffordshire Borough Council licensing bosses will decide what action to take when they meet on Thursday, December 12.

Jed White, head of Staffordshire Police’s licensing unit, has now urged license holders to ensure their staff understand the Challenge 21 and Challenge 25 schemes in which customers must prove they are old enough to buy age-restricted products.

He said: “Often the bar staff are quite young so our advice to the people managing bars and pubs is provide training for their staff and to make sure they ask for ID.

“If the premises we had tested had located a Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 policy then they would not have failed.”

Irvin Linstead, landlord of The Royal Oak, said bar staff have received extra training.

He said: “It was a simple mistake by the member of staff and she has had to pay a fine.

“I don’t think it’s a mistake she will make again.”

A spokesman for Punch Taverns, which runs The Royal Oak, said it is a priority to make sure its pubs are compliant.

He said: “We hope to achieve an outcome at the license hearing which will help us to work closely with the authorities in the future.”

The designated premises supervisor at The Devonshire Arms did not want to comment.

Geoff Mumford, co-director of the Burton Bridge Brewery, which runs the Devonshire Arms, said: “We have had an excellent licensing record up until now, so this really is a blip, and not a regular occurrence.

“We’re happy to go along with whatever the licensing committee decides.”

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