Underage teen ‘might have died’ after downing booze bought at Sheffield off-licence

Off-licence in Crookes  which may have its licence revoked after selling to underage children

Off-licence in Crookes which may have its licence revoked after selling to underage children

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Underage teenagers drank themselves unconscious and needed hospital treatment after buying booze from a Sheffield off-licence.

HK Off Licence and Mini Market on Crookes Road, Crookes, faces losing its licence after selling alcohol and legal highs to youngsters.

A police document submitted to Sheffield Council’s licensing committee said two teenagers became unconscious at a party on November 20 last year after buying £50 of alcohol from the off-licence. One of the teenagers said: “I might have died.”

The teenagers, aged 15, said in a statement taken after the incident: “We went to that particular shop because we knew we would be able to get served.

“The week before that we had been to the same shop and had a beer each.”

The teenager said that once they got to the party that night they started to ‘down’ rum.

“It suddenly hit me,” said the teen.

“The last thing I can remember is going into the toilet, where I passed out.

“The staff at the Children’s Hospital said that if I hadn’t come into hospital, I might have died.

“I was shaking violently, with cold, and I was unresponsive even to light being shined in my eyes.

“Not having drunk much before, I didn’t know much it would affect me.

“It was my first party and I could have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t drunk as much.”

A 16-year-old was also taken to hospital in August last year after drinking a bottle of vodka bought in the shop, the police documents submitted to the committee reveal.

And on February 16 last year, police found shop owner Srinivas Vangol with 20 bags of legal highs behind the counter and in his pockets as well as lots of ‘button bags’ – usually used for illegal drugs.

PC Donna Sambrook said in a statement: “They were opening the standard packets of legal highs and placing the substances into ‘clear baggies’, then adding some other substances to it. People have to ask for ‘clear baggies’ or ‘baggies’.

“But, if they wish to purchase them, they must buy it outside the shop because they would be captured from the shop’s CCTV.”

The shop is now trading under the name Crookes Wine & Spirits but a Sheffield Council spokesman said no application had been received to transfer the alcohol licence.

Sheffield’s Safeguarding Children Board has made a submission to the licensing committee stating Mr Vangol and his employees have failed to attend a workshop on safeguarding children at licensed premises, despite several referrals.

The licence sub-committee will review premises’ licence on Tuesday at 10am.

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