Manageress fined after shop sting'

PUBLISHED: 11:20 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:20 04 May 2010

THE manageress of a shop that sold a bottle of alcohol to a 15-year-old boy during a sting operation set up by trading standards has been fined £300. Ann Henderson was in charge of the One Stop shop, in Soham High Street, when an inexperienced member of

THE manageress of a shop that sold a bottle of alcohol to a 15-year-old boy during a "sting" operation set up by trading standards has been fined £300.

Ann Henderson was in charge of the One Stop shop, in Soham High Street, when an inexperienced member of her staff served the youngster and allowed him to buy blue WKD.

The till operator had only been working in the shop for three days at the time of the offence - and he gave his job up that night, Ely magistrates were told on Thursday.

"We take a dim view in this court of selling alcohol to young people, because of the amount of crime generated by excessive drinking," said presiding magistrate Sue Griffin.

"Your mistake was not to exclude this member of staff from the till, supervised or not. We accept you were let down by another member of staff to some extent.

"If this happens again, you would be facing the suspension or forfeiture of your licence," she said.

Henderson, of Gardeners Lane, Soham, admitted selling liquor to a person under the age of 18 on August 12 last year - she had a previous caution for a similar offence.

Prosecuting, Frank Chandley told how a 15-year-old volunteer went into the shop with a trading standards officer and picked up the alcohol.

The shop assistant did not challenge him or ask for proof of his age.

As manager of the shop, Henderson was responsible for making sure members of staff were adequately trained in the selling of alcohol, the court heard.

She had spent time training Mr Attou but he had failed a test and she had doubts about how much he had understood.

Mitigating, Kirsty Hughes said the One Stop company training scheme was excellent and training was taken very seriously.

The Think 21 scheme was in operation, and the till was set up to alert staff to under-age customers.

Henderson had worked extra hours to train Mr Attou, and other staff knew he had not passed his test and should not be left alone on the till.

Henderson was ordered to pay £150 costs.

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