Sainsbury's guilty of underage sales

By Matt Eley Matt

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Retailing, Sainsbury

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has been slapped with a bill for nearly £45,000 after being found guilty of selling alcohol to under-18s. It was...

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has been slapped with a bill for nearly £45,000 after being found guilty of selling alcohol to under-18s.

It was found guilty at Chesterfield magistrates' court of five charges under the Licensing Act 2003.

It was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £30,000.

The case followed spot-checks carried out by trading standards and Derbyshire Police at stores in Dronfield and Swadlincote in Derbyshire

At the Dronfield store, on May 19 2007, two 15 year-old volunteers were sold 28 bottles and 12 cans of lager on three separate occasions and were not challenged about their age or asked for identification.

On each occasion the cashier who sold them the alcohol was also under 18.

On March 8 2008 at Swadlincote two 16 year-old volunteers bought six bottles of lager and eight cans of cider on two separate visits - although they were refused on a third occasion.

In a separate case Ashlea General Stores in Chesterfield was also prosecuted for selling alcohol to underage customers.

Derbyshire County Councillor Carol Hart said: "These cases send out a strong warning to retailers, that regardless of their size, we will always prosecute if they break the law."

A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "We take our responsibilities as a licensed retailer very seriously and have recently implemented a Think 25 policy at all our stores to help reduce the chance of alcohol being sold persons under 18."

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