Wednesday, 25 November 2009


A Birchington couple have been fined £250 each and ordered to pay £50 costs each, after pleading guilty to selling alcohol at their Ramsgate newsagents at times when they were not licensed to do so.

Gurpinder Kahlon (53) and his wife Sharanjit (50), both from Wilbrough Road, Birchington pleaded guilty to allowing the unauthorised sale of alcohol from Uncle Ben's in Ramsgate High Street.

The newsagents had a premises licence, issued by the council in 2005, to sell alcohol from 8a.m. from Monday to Saturday.

In August 2009, a number of complaints were made to the police and the council's Licensing team about people being seen drunk in central Ramsgate early in the morning. As a result, a number of off-licences were visited.

On 3 September 2009, a test purchase of four cans of lager was made by a Police Community Support Officer in plain clothes at 6.10am, who was served by Mr. Kahlon. Both Mr. & Mrs. Kahlon were in the shop at the time.

Later the same day, officers from the police and council's Licensing department visited the premises to talk to the couple, both of whom stated that alcohol sales were permitted by their premises licence earlier than 8a.m. They were then shown a copy of the premises licence.

Both pleaded guilty at Margate Magistrates' Court and were fined £250 each, ordered to pay £50 costs and to pay a victim surcharge of £15 each.

Philip Bensted, Licensing Manager, said: "There was simply no excuse for selling alcohol so early in the morning, especially with the premises licence on display, clearly stating that sales should not start before 8a.m. In this particular case, we acted as a result of complaints about people being seen drunk in Ramsgate early in the morning. That's the impact that selling alcohol so early in the day can have and that's why it's important that we take action where we find cases like this."

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