BK Store Harehills: Leeds shop loses licence after being caught selling alcohol to teenager in police sting

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A shop where illicit goods were seized and an undercover 16-year-old was allowed to buy alcohol has had its premises licence revoked.

BK Store was visited as part of an operation to tackle sales of illegal alcohol and tobacco products in Harehills, a licensing hearing was told.

Officers found no evidence duty had been paid on cans of beer and bottles of wine and spirits at the off-licence at 78 Harehills Road on August 30 last year.

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Leeds City Council’s licensing sub-committee heard the alcohol had a duty value of £3,731.

BK Store, in Harehills, Leeds has had its premises licence revoked by Leeds City Council.BK Store, in Harehills, Leeds has had its premises licence revoked by Leeds City Council.
BK Store, in Harehills, Leeds has had its premises licence revoked by Leeds City Council. | Google

On September 25, police carried out a test purchase operation in which a 16-year-old was sold an alcoholic drink without being asked their age or to show identification.

Trading Standards, HMRC and council licensing officers were involved in the operation, in which illicit vapes were also found, the committee heard.

Previous licensing hearings have been told that illicit alcohol and tobacco sales are widespread in Harehills.

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PC Neil Haywood told Tuesday’s hearing: “This case involving BK News is not an isolated case. This is one of 12 premises licence reviews submitted by West Yorkshire Police in the last year.”

Eleanor Guildford, representing store manager Aamir Masood, said he was not present when the test purchase was carried out.

She said: “It was not Mr Masood, nor did he authorise it. This is not a common practice in his store.”

Miss Guildford said Mr Masood was sorry for what had happened. She said: “He feels mortified and this hanging over him has had a profound effect on his physical and mental health.”

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Mr Masood submitted receipts showing he was buying from reputable wholesalers, records of his charity donations and letters of support from customers in evidence to the hearing.

In a witness statement Mr Masood said he regretted trusting the suppliers of illicit alcohol and vapes found the shop. He said: “I firmly believe I was targeted by both of them and duped into believing they were genuine.”

Miss Guildford said there was no evidence of vape sales to children, and that Mr Masood was operating a Challenge 25 policy in the shop.

In September last year, Masood was fined more than £3,000 at Leeds Magistrates' Court, after pleading guilty to selling numerous food items past their use by date.

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