Holbeach store may lose licence after it sold booze to boy

The shop in Holbeach High Street
The shop in Holbeach High Street
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An Eastern European shop in Holbeach faces losing its licence to sell alcohol after being caught selling beer to an underage teenager.

Waldemar Socha and Liudmila Jasinauskiene will have their premises licence at Liudwai reviewed at a meeting of South Holland District Council’s Licensing Panel on Tuesday.

Liudwai, in High Street, currently operates as a convenience store, licensed to sell alcohol from 11am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and from 11am to 3pm on Sunday.

The premises licence has been held by Mr Socha and Ms Jasinauskiene since 2010. The current designated premises supervisor is Ms Jasinauskiene.

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes applied for a review of the premises licence on September 22 after an undercover operation in which a 16-year-old police volunteer bought four cans of Redds Gruska beer from the store.

On Tuesday, the licensing panel will hear a statement from PC Ian Figgitt, who was present in the store on September 11 when the purchases were made.

PC Figgitt said: “I was on duty in civilian clothing at five shop premises where a 16 year old police volunteer attempted to purchase alcohol and tobacco but had been challenged by the shop staff for proof of age and had been refused the sales.

“About 8.50pm the same day I was present outside the Liudwai shop when I saw the volunteer exit the premises carrying a blue plastic bag which he had not been carrying or had in his possession prior to entering the store.

“I checked the contents of this bag which was four cans of Redds Gruska beer, which I then seized.

“I cautioned Mr Socha and advised him that he had sold alcohol to a 16-year-old.

“Mr Socha said ‘I thought he was 18’.”

A review of the premises licence previously took place in August 2012, after non-duty paid cigarettes were seized and a sale was made to an underage person.

In 2013, a quantity of foreign medicines were located and seized.

As a result of the visit, a warning letter was sent to the premise licence holder.

The licensing panel on Tuesday will have six options in deciding the future of the store – to modify the conditions of the licence, exclude a licensable activity from the scope of the licence, remove the designated premises supervisor, suspend the licence for a period not exceeding three months, revoke the licence or leave the licence in its current state.

l It is also hoped the decision will highlight the risk of problematic drinking in the young to reduce harmful drinking in later life.

A survey in 2012 showed 43 per cent of school pupils aged 11 to 15 had drunk alcohol at least once.


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