Southsea store owner fears for shop after losing licence to sell booze

The shop sold cider to under-18s twice Picture posed by models
The shop sold cider to under-18s twice Picture posed by models
Jean Crabb with her UGG boots which have a water stain after she wore them out in the rain      ''Picture:  Malcolm Wells (180516-8907)

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A SHOPKEEPER says she will ‘lose her shop’ after being stripped of a licence to sell booze.

Indrani Alekhya Midde, the owner of Seven Days in Osborne Road, Southsea, made a desperate plea at a review into her store’s licence, after evidence was presented that staff served two under-18s with cider.

But Portsmouth City Council councillors removed the licence after hearing damning testimony from trading standards officers and police.

Trading standards officer Tracey Greaves said: ‘This business has been poorly run. We have spent more time with Seven Days than any similar premises. If conditions are introduced they will be ignored.’

The Premier shop, formerly known as Osborne Wines, first came to the council’s notice in December 2016 as it did not have a full premises licence summary or statutory tobacco sign on display.

It was discovered that it did not have a training register, and its log detailing refusals to sell alcohol was not kept up to date.
Since then staff sold alcohol without personal licences and the shop did not enough staff on duty in the evenings to sell alcohol within regulations.

On two occasions last year a 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy bought cider.

The shop’s owner, Miss Midde, defended her position. She said: ‘I have not ignored conditions or been negligent, it has just taken time.

‘Since the review we have stopped selling alcohol at certain times, my staff have been on refresher courses and I’ve appointed a new designated premises supervisor. We check the refusal log as well.

‘My premises is next to two other shops. If we lose the licence for even a short time we would lose the shop because the customers would go to other shops.

‘Mine is a very small business and having someone there the whole time is a financial burden. Having two people there after 10pm is a lot of pressure. It’s really hard to find people with a personal licence who will work in a shop.’

However, PC Jason Pearce said: ‘The report isn’t the whole story. It is the continuation of a theme that started a couple of years beforehand. Any measure or conditions that were imposed on them were ignored.’

Miss Midde declined to comment after the decision.