Northampton local shop where illegal worker was found in back shed could be stripped of licence

Far Cotton Food & Wine faces being stripped of its license.
Far Cotton Food & Wine faces being stripped of its license.

A Northampton local shop faces losing its licence after it was caught employing a man who was working in the country illegally.

Far Cotton Food & Wine, in St Leonards Road, off Cotton End, also broke its alcohol license conditions after binning its CCTV recordings after only five day - when they were meant to be kept for a month.

The owners will meet with Northampton Borough Council's licensing sub-committee next week on September 25 for review.

It comes after the same shop was caught employing other illegal workers in 2016.

A report prepared ahead of the meeting says: "The police have no confidence that there will be any adherence to future conditions.

"The proximity of this second [discovery of illegal workers] in relation to the first is a testament to a comprehensive failure to by the mistakes of the past.

"[We] as that the committee give serious consideration to the revocation of this license."

Police visited the shop in June when the licensing department complained they could not obtain CCTV footage from the premises.

Officers found the shop was deleting their footage after only four days, despite their license requiring them to keep it for a month.

But when they introduced themselves as officers to the cashier, they spotted a man disappearing from view out the back of the shop.

They located him in a shed in the back alley, and found he was Sri Lankan national with no entitlement to work in the UK. He was subsequently arrested.

Far Cotton Food & Wine had no record of the man on the employee records or of any checks having been made with the Immigration Service.

The owner now faces not only a breach of his license but an offence under immigration law.

Far Cotton Food & Wine's license will be reviewed at the Guild Hall next week.