Guilty: Owner of Kensal Rise shop that sold alcohol to girls aged 12 and 13

Food and Wine in Kilburn Lane (Pic: Google)

Food and Wine in Kilburn Lane (Pic: Google) - Credit: Archant

The owner of a shop in Kensal Rise has been convicted of selling alcohol to two children in an undercover operation using two young girls.

Raden Thanapalasingham owner of ‘Food & Wine’ in Kilburn Lane, was given a conditional discharge for one year and made to pay £500 towards Brent Council’s prosecution costs last week.

He must also pay a £15 victim surcharge.

Willesden Magistrates Court heard the 46-year-old was arrested last month after an employee sold the alcohol to the girls during a test purchase exercise carried out by Brent Council’s trading standards team.

The girls, who were observed at all times by Brent officers, were able to buy one can of beer without being asked their age or for any identification by worker Mr Ponnuthurai.

Mr Thanapalasingham, who lived in Blockley Road in Wembley, told the court that his worker was distracted following the news of a family bereavement.

He has since introduced systems to his shop to help prevent any future underage sales.

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Cllr James Denselow, Brent Council’s cabinet member for trading standards, said: “This prosecution arose from an intelligence-based operation by the trading standards team to see whether retailers are supplying restricted goods to young people under 18.

“There were 11 other premises visited that day as part of the same exercise. All of the other premises refused to sell alcohol to the same two child volunteers, so it is clear that a lack of due diligence was shown by the owner.

“The trading standards team are working hard to ensure that these illegal sales stop as part of our continued commitment in helping to make Brent a safer and healthier borough. If there is any doubt of a customer’s age then retailers should always ask for identification.”

Underage sales can be reported to trading standards via the Citizens Advise Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.