A shop owner in Wokingham has been banned from selling alcohol at his wine store after selling booze to underage teenagers.

Parmit Singh Kapoor, 31, from Southall, London, has had his licence to sell alcohol at BB Wines in Broad Street, Wokingham revoked.

He had got into trouble with police and licensing officers when he sold alcohol to a teenage boy on two occasions this year.

The teen had been working as a volunteer with police and licensing officers to catch out vendors who are not doing age checks on their customers.

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The decision to revoke Mr Kapoor’s licence was made following a hearing of Wokingham Borough Council’s Licensing and Appeals sub-committee on  Monday, September 13.

Mr Kapoor’s representative, Leo Charalambides, proposed having a minimum of two staff members at BB Wines from 3pm on each day as a way to make sure sales are processed in accordance with the law.

But the suggestion failed to convince the committee, made up of chairman councillor Bill Soane (Conservative, Loddon), Cllr Chris Bowring (Conservative, Wokingham Without) and Cllr Ian Shenton (Liberal Democrat, Evendons) who was elected this year.

They decided to revoke the licence in order to promote the licensing objective of protecting children from harm.

Mr Charalambides pointed out that BB Wines had passed three underage alcohol sales tests and reminded committee members that they were bound by law to deliver an “appropriate and proportionate response.”

The passed tests occurred on February 7, 2019, March 2, 2019 and January 2, 2020.

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He also said Mr Kapoor and staff members Sammy Miah and Mr Banala had been trained by Surendra Panchal, a personal licence holder trainer to refresh their knowledge of the law.

Mr Kapoor has the right to appeal against the decision of the licensing panel within 21 days of the written decision being received.

The appeal would be heard at a Magistrates’ Court, with a total re-hearing being conducted on the decision.

Whilst costs are not awardable by the council against any party making a representation, or requesting a review, a Magistrates’ Court can award costs either for or against any party which lodged the appeal.

If Mr Kapoor does choose to appeal, he can continue to sell alcohol as before until the magistrates court hearing.

You can see how the licensing review hearing unfolded in this tweet thread below:

The decision to revoke the licence is likely to have a major impact on the business, as 70 per cent of the stock of the wine store is alcohol.

Licensing review hearings can be called by police and council officers if they feel business operators and failing to uphold the four licensing objectives, which are to:

  • Prevent crime and disorder
  • To protect public safety
  • Prevent public nuisance
  • Protect children from harm

The application to review the licence was made by Kevin Thompson,  a principle trading standards officer of the Public Protection Partnership, a shared service which deals with licensing and public protection measures across Wokingham Borough, Bracknell Forest and West Berkshire councils.

Wokingham Borough Council will be leaving the service in March 2022.