A HIGH WYCOMBE shop owner has been stripped of his licence and been ordered to remove all alcohol from his shop after a court heard about a string of offences – including selling booze to underage teenagers.

Despite a string of warnings Chandrasegaram Muthaya, from NN Newsagents at 274 Desborough Road, he committed a string of crimes dating back to December 2017 – just three months after he had been granted a licence to sell alcohol.

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In December 2017 the council’s licensing team issued a warning for a beach of his licence. Within weeks of this warning trading standards officers found £2,000 worth of illegal tobacco products in the shop and they requested a review of the premises licence.

During the review process police officers found evidence of underage alcohol sales - all of which was brought to the attention of a licensing panel in August last year.

After hearing all the evidence from Mr Muthaya and his legal representative, Wycombe District Council’s licensing committee agreed to revoke the premises licence for sale of alcohol.

Mr Muthaya appealed this decision, which meant he could continue to use his licence until the case went before the magistrates’ court. In January this year trading standards visited the premises again and once again found illegal tobacco in the shop, some of which was crudely hidden in the shop toilet room.

The day before the magistrates’ court hearing, police and WDC licensing officers visited the premises and found multiple breaches of the licence. The council wrote to Mr Muthaya and his legal representatives on a number of occasions about the spiralling costs of continuing his appeal and taking up court time – and it was only at the last minute at the door steps of the court that he withdrew his appeal.

Mr Muthaya was ordered to pay £3,000 towards the council’s costs and he has offered to pay £100 per month.

Cabinet member for environment, Cllr Julia Adey, said: “When businesses repeatedly ignore the conditions of their licence, we use our strong local partnership with the police and trading standards to take action and protect the public.

“In this case, the licensee only has himself to blame. If only he had listened to clear and repeated warnings and taken action, he would still have his licence.”