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Shop owner caught in fake fags sting refused alcohol licence... again

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 11, 2014

  • 11/03/14 Monica's shop licence Monika's Shop - Derby St, Burton

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A BURTON shop owner stung in an illegal cigarettes raid has been refused an alcohol licence for the second time in five months.

East Staffordshire Borough Council licensing chiefs spent half an hour deliberating before refusing to grant a licence to Monika Shop, in Derby Street.

The shop’s owner Monika Wysocka had been caught out when Staffordshire County Council trading standards seized 2,800 black market cigarettes from an Uxbridge Street she runs in February 2013.

Since then, she has lodged three applications to sell alcohol from the Derby Street store - all of which have now been withdrawn or refused.

Ms Wysocka faced vocal opposition from trading standards, Staffordshire Police’s licensing unit and borough council leader Julian Mott.

During the hearing he said: “I fully support the police and trading standards and pay tribute to their efforts.

“I listed this objection because I saw this as breaching the licensing objectives.

“The sale of illegal cigarettes is not just about losing revenue, it is a crime and I don’t believe that enough time has passed to prove there have been any changes in how the applicant operates.”

Kristof Strzelbicki, who represented Ms Wysocka, said his client was a professional businesswoman who deserved a second chance.

He said: “There have been no incidents in the last 13 months.

“Monika admitted when it was her fault, she should not have traded illegal cigarettes.”

But the chairman of the licensing sub-committee Jacqui Jones said Ms Wysocka had not taken on board advice given to her when the licence was refused in November.

After the hearing, Staffordshire Police’s licensing officer David Evans welcomed the decision.

He said: “We have worked very closely with trading standards, which took a very robust stance in relation to the sale of illegal cigarettes, which is clearly to the detriment of public health.”

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