A shop caught selling alcohol to teenagers three times in a year has been given a ‘second chance’.

Despite warnings, Premier Store, in Framwellgate Moor Front Street, Durham , was repeatedly caught out by undercover stings in 2019, prompting a full review of its licence to sell booze.

But following assurances staff training will be overhauled and a raft of new measures imposed in an attempt to stop more underage sales, licensing chiefs at Durham County Council agreed to let it keep trading.

“We take it very seriously, the offence brought forward,” said Coun Pauline Crathorne, “serving children alcohol is a very serious event.

“We have decided, because you have listened and you are working with the licensing authority to get yourself sorted, we will let you keep the licence.

“But we will add all the conditions [suggested by council officers] and also for you and your staff to complete a course with a registered provider.”

Small Birmingham pubs are declining
the store was repeatedly caught selling alcohol to minors

She added: “It is very serious, what has happened, and if you come back again there would be no second chance, it be revocation [of the licence], so please work with the authority and try to move on a little bit.”

Coun Crathorne was speaking at this morning’s (Tuesday, January 21) meeting of the county council’s Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee, which she also chaired.

Councillors heard the first test purchase was carried out in November, when a 15-year-old bought a bottle of Echo Falls rose wine, resulting in a fine for the seller.

In August another 15-year-old successfully purchased a bottle of ‘Echo Falls Fruit Fusion’ from a man later revealed to have been the brother of licence holder and manager Muhammad Adnan Rabani.

Mr Robani told the panel the shop regularly serves up to 600 customers a day and claimed his business ‘would go down’ if he lost his licence to sell alcohol.

He said: “I understand your concerns, I wouldn’t want my young daughter to be served [alcohol] as well – morally it is not right.”

New conditions imposed by the committee’s ruling include beefed up CCTV rules, implementation of a ‘Challenge 25’ policy and better record keeping for staff training and sales refusals.