Barnsley shop that allegedly sold 13 year old booze has license revoked

The license holder of a Gawber shop which is alleged to have sold alcohol to a 13 year old girl, has had their alcohol license revoked.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 4:36 pm

Councillors met on Friday (November 12) to review the license of the Lifestyle Express shop on Rowland Road in Gawber, at the request of South Yorkshire Police.

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Barnsley shop faces license review after allegedly selling booze to 13 year old

Police received a tip-off that staff at Lifestyle Express, on Rowland Road, Gawber, had sold alcohol to under 18s in April, and sent under-age volunteers to buy booze.

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The shop was served with a prohibition notice in August, after a health and safety officer found that parts of the floor were "in a state of collapse in the off licence area,"

They were sold two bottles of cider during the operation in June, and a second sting was carried out in July, in which under-age volunteers bought alcopops.

According to licensing documents, the shop also failed test purchases in 2014, and 2015, but passed in 2017 and 2019.

Police received a complaint in late July that a 13 year old girl had fallen ill after drinking alcohol purchased from the shop.

A witness statement alleges that the teenager was sold a bottle of raspberry schnapps on July 21, and was “violently sick” throughout the night, after drinking on playing fields off Wood View Lane.

The shop was served with a prohibition notice in August, after a health and safety officer found that parts of the floor were “in a state of collapse in the off licence area,” and that “the area of flooring below the off license sales area was largely unsupported and could fall at any time.”

At Firday’s hearing, the son of licence holder Mrs Amutha Ravikumar, Navinth Ravikumar, said that sales of alcohol to youngsters were “mainly because of my father”.

Mr Ravikumar spoke on behalf of his mother to add that his father had a stroke in September, and had “forgotten a lot of things”, and was no longer working at the shop.

He added that following the review, the shop’s staff received training once a month, and that the till system had been changed to remind staff to ask for identification when ringing up alcohol or cigarettes.

Stephen Butler, from the environmental health department at Barnsley Council, said that he was “shocked to find the floor had collapsed” when he visited the shop on August 5, but on subsequent visits was “quite impressed” at the level of repairs that was undertaken.

“Health and safety issues have been resolved to a good standard”, said Mr Butler.

Councillors John Clarke, Steve Green, and Steve Hunt retired to make their decision in private, and the decision was made to revoke the license.