Northampton shop keeper wins right to hold premises licence

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A Northampton shop owner has been granted a premises licence after police failed to prove he was likely to sell cigarettes to children.

Northamptonshire Police objected to Bakhttiyar Hamad being given the premises licence of the Monopol convenience store in Barrack Road because of a spent conviction for selling cigarettes to a minor from another store in Kettering Road in 2013.

But after a hearing at the Guildhall, a panel of councillors said they had been convinced by Mr Hamad that he had learned his lesson.

The decision says: “The police have not sufficiently satisfied the sub-committee that the premises or the individual are involved in crime.

“We decided that, on the balance of probability that the crime objective would be unlikely to be undermined.

“The applicant has shown clearly his willingness to engage in paid work.

“We are satisfied he has learned his lesson and that he will operate the business in accordance with the licensing objectives.”

Mr Hamad was prosecuted and fined for the offences committed in April and February 2013.

Mr Hamad had been a personal licence holder and Designated Premises Supervisor at JaJa stores, Kettering Road, Northampton in 2013 and admitted offences there, for which he had been convicted at the magistrates’ court on November 4, 2013, of one offence in February and two offences on the same day in April 2013.

The offences consisted of selling cigarettes to a minor, possessing for sale cigarettes prohibited by safety regulations and selling counterfeit cigarettes.

Mr Hamad told the hearing there had been a break in at the premises two days before the first offence and an amount of money had been stolen.

A friend who had been on holiday had supplied Mr Hamad with the duty free cigarettes which had been sold in the first offence.

In his defence, Mr Hamad said the minor who had been sold the cigarettes had been quite tall, but he fully admitted that he had made mistakes.