Burgess Hill store has licence temporarily suspended after failing test purchase

A convenience store in Burgess Hill has had its premises licence suspended after a member of staff sold alcohol to a child.
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Arya Food & Wine, in Station Road, fell foul of a Trading Standards test sale in February when a bottle of WKD Blue was sold to an under-age girl.

During a meeting of Mid Sussex District Council’s liquor licence panel on Monday (June 5), licence holder Maheshkumar Chaudhari was told that his licence would be suspended for two months.

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Peter Aston, of Trading Standards, told the meeting that his team received information last summer alleging that alcohol had been sold to a child at Arya Food and Wine.

Arya Food & Wine, in Station RoadArya Food & Wine, in Station Road
Arya Food & Wine, in Station Road

As a result, an ‘advice visit’ was carried out, reminding Mr Chaudhari about his responsibilities under the Licensing Act and warning him that a test purchase would be carried out some time in the future.

Mr Aston added that suspending the licence would ‘send out a strong message’ to others premises in the district and the county.

Mr Chaudhari told the panel that the sale of the alcohol had been ‘a mistake’.

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He told the meeting that his staff had received the necessary training and that he had increased the amount of training being given.

He pointed out that it was sometimes hard to tell the age of teenage girls but accepted that the member of staff should have challenged her and asked for proof of her age.

He asked the panel not to penalise him as the business meant so much to him and his family, but now has has 21 days to appeal the panel’s decision.