Shop keeps alcohol license after serving 13-year-old girl
An Edinburgh convenience store has been allowed to keep its alcohol license despite selling to a young girl, who was later hospitalised, as it blames “inexperienced staff” for the blunder.
Following the hospitalisation of a 13-year-old girl last August, Edinburgh police asked local councillors to review the alcohol license of Adnan Jaffery, owner and manager of Day Today Express in West Pilton.
Jaffery, who according to his lawyer is “distraught and distressed” about the incident, has been let off with a warning after blaming “inexperienced staff” and insisting the crime was a “one-off”.
Sergeant Barry Mercer from Police Scotland told the licensing board the girl had “asked for two bottles of alcohol” which the shopkeeper “scanned through the till and placed in a white carrier bag”.
He added: “At no point in the interaction was she asked for age verification.”
A few hours later, after consuming the alcohol with friends, the girl collapsed and ambulance services were called “due to the amount of alcohol she had taken”, said Mercer.
Reviewing the shop’s CCTV footage, Jaffrey’s lawyer Alistair Macdonald insisted the girl “looked older than 13”, and explained away the lack of training records for the staff member who served the girl by claiming that: “There was a training certificate but it wasn’t in the shop.”
The staff member in question has subsequently resigned.
Reporting from the review process, Edinburgh Live revealed that one Councillor Cathy Fullerton hit back at the claims, saying: “Alcohol was purchased by a 13-year-old girl. Whether she looked 13 or not…is quite irrelevant. Mr Jaffery is the premises licence holder. No matter what anybody else says, he is responsible for what goes on in his shop and as a result he’s contravening many of the conditions of his licence.”
However, fellow councillor Chas Booth maintained that while the incident was “extremely serious… the person who was responsible for this is not sitting in front of us and if we were to take punitive action today that wouldn’t be justice, that would be retribution.”
Day Today Express has been permitted to keep its license to serve alcohol.