AN OFF-LICENCE that sold vodka to two 14-year old girls who ended up in hospital with alcohol poisoning has been stripped of its licence by Lambeth Council.
Staff at Bola Brothers Food and Wine on Streatham High Road, Streatham, have been branded “irresponsible” after the two girls ended up in St Georges Hospital in November after becoming so ill from drinking the alcohol that medical staff at the hospital said they could have died.
Lambeth Council’s licensing committee last night (Thurs 8th) heard how the off–licence had a record of under age sales stretching back to 2009. Staff had sold alcohol and cigarettes to people underage on five occasions.
The girls, who clearly looked under 18 according to Trading Standards officers who interviewed them, were able to buy a bottle of Glen’s Vodka from the shop without showing any ID in November. They later became violently ill but were fortunately found by one of the girl’s mother’s, who took them to hospital and later called police and Lambeth Council Trading Standards. Both made a full recovery.
The committee voted unanimously to strip the shop of its alcohol licence.
Lambeth Council iCabinet member for Public Protection, Cllr Jack Hopkins, said: “This kind of irresponsibility beggars belief. There is no excuse for shops to ever sell age restricted goods to people who don’t have ID and our trading standards team regularly conduct ‘test purchasing’ operations using underage volunteers to root out offenders.
“Despite persistent warnings, fines and court appearances it would appear that this shop’s management have not taken adequate action to prevent alcohol getting into the hands of young people, and two 14 year old girls have ended up in hospital. I’m pleased that the license has been revoked.”
At the same meeting Express Food and Wine, in Hopton Parade, Streatham Food and Wine, had its alcohol licence suspended for six weeks, and a number of new conditions attached to their licence after allegedly selling wine to the same girl earlier in the evening.
Both establishments have 21 days to appeal the decisions.
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