Gosberton store loses licence to sell alcohol

Illegal cigarettes found at Gosberton Market ANL-160302-145308001
Illegal cigarettes found at Gosberton Market ANL-160302-145308001

A Gosberton shop that was found with illicit cigarettes and alcohol on the premises had its licence revoked at a hearing today (Wednesday).

A panel at South Holland District Council’s offices in Spalding heard that police called for the licence review following a joint raid on Gosberton Market with Trading Standards on November 23, where contraband wine and cigarettes were found.

The panel heard police first attended on July 22 while licence holder and supervisor Ali Saied Taha was out of the country and licence breaches were found.

On November 23 police returned with Trading Standards officers and foundthat only two of the stipulated six CCTV cameras were working; there were no crime and disorder records; no evidence of staff training; no notices to ask customers to leave quietly, to discourage people from gathering outside or to indicate that alcohol cannot be bought for or by under-18s.

Trading Standards then searched the stock room and Mr Taha’s vehicle and found 1,529 contraband cigarettes and 650g of tobacco in holdalls and suitcases. Some had failed ignition propensity tests.

There were also 179 suspicious bottles of red and white ‘Italian’ Cassaldivino and Terre D’Italia wine for sale at £2.99, with labelling mistakes and different fill levels. The wine was actually bottled in Slovakia, where authorities have confirmed it may not be Italian.

In its decision notice to revoke the licence, the panel said: “There is an extensive history of the premises licence holder failing to comply with the conditions upon the premises licence.

“Despite attempts by the Authorities on July 22, 2015 and again on November 23, 2015 to address these issues, the problems were still evident by January 8, 2016 and the premises licence holder gave no indication that these issues have now been rectified.

“He accepted police cautions for unauthorised licensable activities and keeping or allowing goods to be kept on any relevant premises, which have been imported unlawfully or without payment of duty.

“The licensing objectives expect the licence holder to promote the prevention of crime and disorder which clearly is not the case when he has accepted his involvement in criminal activity.

“The panel felt that there was little point in imposing additional conditions in circumstances where the current conditions were not being complied with.

“There was no suggestion from the premises licence holder that he would put in place new management and so again to remove the designated premises supervisor would not meet the licensing objectives.

“In order to promote the licensing objectives, for the reasons outlined above, the decision was taken to revoke the premises licence.”

Mr Taha has 21 days to appeal against the decision.