Off-trade

Scottish supermarket fails in suspension appeal

A Scottish Sheriff's Court recently upheld a five-day licence suspension meted out earlier this year to a supermarket chain by the Glasgow Licensing Board following a failed test purchase by a minor.

According to reports, a 16 year-old was served with a bottle of wine by the supermarket’s duty manager without being asked for ID.

However although the duty manager was sacked after an internal investigation and the store had passed a second subsequent test purchase, Glasgow Licensing Board still issued the ban on the sale of alcohol for five days which moved the supermarket to appeal the sentence, claiming that it had done all it reasonably could to prevent such an occurrence which it put down to an error by the individual concerned.

Despite the supermarket demonstrating ‘due diligence’ via its internal systems, the appeal failed.

Describing the Licensing Board’s approach as “proportionate” against the background of “what was undoubtedly a serious matter”, the Presiding Sheriff indicated that a "Five-day period of suspension was both necessary and appropriate in order to prevent a re-occurrence of the commission of an offence in an area where the public and police had concerns about increased under-age drinking”.

The supermarket chain will make a further appeal to the Court of Session. And for those found to have served a minor, their troubles will not end with a suspension.

Strathclyde Police and a number of other police forces around Scotland are automatically requesting review of a licence following one failed test purchase.

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