Tesco Fined GBP10,000 For Illegal Sale Of Alcohol

Supermarket giant Tesco has been fined £10,000 after police, who were operating an undercover sting, caught the retailer selling a bottle of wine to an underage customer .
It also emerged that the Tesco Express store in Dobbins Place, Crawley, had been illegally selling alcohol for two and a half months without a Designated Premises Supervisor (licensee).
The landmark case took place at Crawley Magistrates Court yesterday, where Tesco admitted a charge of exposing alcohol for unauthorised sale by retail and was handed a £10,000 fine by District Judge Roger Eade.
Judge Eade commented: “For almost two and a half months alcohol was being sold without proper supervision . It is not good enough, particularly for a store of the sort of standing that Tesco has.”
“The public are very concerned about sales of alcohol to people under age, and very concerned that alcohol should be sold in a responsible way,” he added.
It was reported to the court how each week £4,000 worth of alcohol was sold on average by the Tesco Express store.
Tesco’s defence was led by Craig Baylis, who stated that the responsibility lay with Tesco’s area manager, who had faced disciplinary action. He added that the company had since changed its procedures in order to prevent a recurrence of the offence.
Yesterday’s case marked the first time a supermarket in the UK has been successfully prosecuted for violating the DPS (Designated Premises Supervisor) law under the Licensing Act.
Jean Irving, licensing and public safety manager for Sussex Police, said: “This sends a clear message out that the courts are taking this sort of thing very seriously.”
“Selling without a designated premises supervisor is the equivalent of someone walking down the street selling booze – it is illegal. Alcohol is a drug and it must be sold responsibly. Hopefully others will learn from this,” added Irving.

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