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Haverhill shopkeeper fines for underage sales

AB's Mini Market, Haverhill ANL-150130-141612001
AB's Mini Market, Haverhill ANL-150130-141612001

A Haverhill shop owner has pleaded guilty to selling alcohol to underage people after being caught on two separate occasions within three months.

Ali Arslan of A B’s Mini Market, in Queensway appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court last Thursday (29) as he had continued to sell alcohol to young people despite warnings and interventions by Suffolk Trading Standards.

Mr Arslan was fined £500, ordered to pay £750 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

This comes after Mr Arslan received a written warning and a number of advice letters with information on how to prevent under age sales of alcohol.

The business was also visited on two separate occasions, last year to provide face to face advice on preventing under age sales.

Mar Arslan is the second shop owner to be prosecuted in Haverhill in the past six months for selling alcohol to under age customers.

Last July, Ipswich Magistrates found Metro Express (Haverhill) Ltd guilty of persistently selling alcohol from Your Store, Apple Acre Road in Haverhill to under 18s. They were fined over £15,000.

Councillor Colin Spence, cabinet member for public protection said: “Retailers know the law and know they need to check ID on anyone who, in their opinion, looks under 18 years of age.

“Mr Arslan, did not do so. This case should serve as a warning to shopkeepers that Suffolk Trading Standards will take robust action against those that flout the law.

“We work closely with traders to ensure they comply with the law throughout the year and these undercover checks carried out by Trading Standards form a vital part of this work.”

Underage sales test purchase operations take place across Suffolk targeting supermarkets, off licences, pubs, bars, and clubs.

The work plays an important part in reducing anti-social behaviour and reducing the associated health risks that underage drinking has on young people.

Anyone with information about illegal sales of alcohol, tobacco, knives, butane gas or other age-restricted products can inform Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.

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