How we use Cookies

Service station's licence to sell alcohol under threat

Premises is caught selling alcohol to underage test purchasers but owner claims he is being victimised

Aldershot Service Station in High Street, Aldershot

A businessman from Aldershot is in danger of losing his alcohol licence after failing three test purchases in a year.

Hampshire Trading Standards (HTS) is calling for the premises licence at Aldershot Service Station in High Street to be reviewed.

But licence holder and designated premises supervisor Sultan Hayat, 61, claims he is being victimised.

He said: “I’ve been in business for 33 years and am well aware of the rules and regulations of licensing.

“I think these people are causing me problems but being an Asian doesn’t mean I come from a different planet.

“I strongly believe I’ve been victimised.”

Mr Hayat said on one occasion he was away and his son sold alcohol to a test purchaser because she looked ‘well over 20’.

Mr Hayat, whose two sons and two daughters help out at the family business, said on another occasion officers came into his garage at 10.30pm and said he had to close the doors because he was not allowed to sell alcohol.

“But we have a 24-hour licence and it’s not until midnight that we have to close the doors and serve from the window.

“It clearly shows their intentions. They’re looking for excuses to shut me down and stop me from running a business.”

HTS said the first test purchase failure was on 18 February last year, when alcohol was sold to a 16-year-old volunteer.

Just over a month later HTS said more intelligence was received from Rushmoor Borough Council that the store was selling alcohol to underage customers.

An underage test purchase was carried out on April 4 last year but was unsuccessful.

But on June 26 last year, the service station failed a second test purchase when alcohol was sold to another 16-year-old.

A month later a HTS representative and a member of Rushmoor’s licensing department held a meeting with Mr Hayat, who was told it was ‘unacceptable’ to fail two test purchases in such a short period of time and a review of the licence would be sought.

Despite the warning, the garage failed a third test purchase this February 19.

In its application for a review, HTS states: “This store continues to sell alcohol to children by failing test purchase operations.

"Indeed the store has failed three times from four tests in a 12-month period, each time by a different member of staff.

“This is due to poor company practice by the licence holder and poor management.

“Trading Standards believe that Mr Hayat has a complete disregard for the licensing objectives and protecting the health of Hampshire’s most vulnerable residents.

"Trading Standards invite the licensing sub-committee to revoke this premise licence.”

A three-member panel of the council’s licensing sub committee will consider the review on Thursday June 12.

The panel has a number of options available including removing the designated premises supervisor, suspending the licence for up to three months, or revoking the licence.

 
comments powered by Disqus

Journalists

James Chapple
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Laura Nightingale
Yateley Reporter
Natalie Garland
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Fergus McEwan
Community & Schools Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area