Pub chain Wetherspoon has hit out at a trading standards and police “sting” which saw an underage volunteer served with alcohol.
A member of staff at Spalding’s Ivy Wall was handed a £90 fixed penalty notice and the management will be contacted and asked to ensure there is no repeat.
Two other South Holland pubs were visited the same night with supervised volunteers aged 15 to 16 trying to buy booze, but staff in those pubs refused to serve them.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We do not agree with this style of ‘sting’ operation.
“However we acknowledge that an underage person was served in the pub.
“Wetherspoon takes the issue of underage drinking very seriously and its staff are trained to ask for ID if they believe someone is underage.
“We will redouble our efforts to ensure this does not happen again.”
Sgt Jon Mellor, of Lincolnshire Police Licensing Unit, said police and trading standards do hundreds of such operations a year.
He said: “We will get underage volunteers who are 15 or 16 and we will send them into a pub with a plain clothes officer close behind.”