AN OFF-LICENCE in Sheffield could be banned from selling alcohol after staff sold cider to underage teens on three separate occasions.
Butlers Express at Brook Hill - which is next door to the student accommodation building which collapsed last Saturday - will find out tomorrow whether it can continue selling alcohol after undercover police volunteers were not challenged about their age when they purchased cider.
South Yorkshire Police were first made aware teenagers were being served illegally in May last year, following a complaint from a mother whose 12-year-old son got drunk and ended up in hospital after being sold a bottle of vodka at Butlers Express.
They were also contacted by a staff member at Tapton School in Crosspool, who said she had been informed by pupils at the school that Butlers Express was selling alcohol to youngsters aged under 18.
On July 4, a 16-year-old undercover police volunteer was sold a three-litre bottle of cider by staff member Thomas Wilson, for which he received a fixed penalty notice fine of £80.
The following month, two more police volunteers aged 14 and 16 were served a bottle of Jacques cider by the same staff member, who was fined again.
On September 14 the premises successfully passed a test purchase operation, but was closed down by the police for three days between Friday, September 21, and Sunday, September 24, to allow officers to investigate the situation further.
During the closure, licence holder Mazhar Hussain asked police to re-open the shop because the closure was affecting his business and because the offending staff member, Thomas Wilson, was no longer working there.
But during a third visit by an undercover police volunteer on Friday, November 30, a 16-year-old was sold a bottle of Stella Cidre by a different staff member, Thabo Niairni.
The licensing authority will consider whether revoking the shop’s licence would help to prevent crime and public nuisance, and protect children from harm.