Brighton shopkeeper loses drink licence

The owners of a Brighton newsagent have lost their 24-hour drinks licence after a hearing before councillors.

Hani and Sally Abadi, who run Allsorts in North Street, Brighton, were accused of stocking 31 bottles of five different types of fake Jacob’s Creek wine.

The Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel was told that the shop had also been the subject of a previous comparable complaint.

The complaint was made by a customer who bought a bottle of merlot which turned out to be fizzy. It shouldn’t have been.

Trading standards officers carried out a test purchase and also found the wine to be fizzy.

They shared their concerns with Mr and Mrs Abadi last autumn.

Six months later the 31 bottles of fake wines were found and the couple had no related paperwork such as invoices.

The panel of councillors also heard that a staff member had sold two bottles of wine to a 16-year-old in March last year.

Mr Abadi, of Ash Close, Hove, said that test purchases of cigarettes and drink had been attempted on other occasions and the shop had always passed.

He said that the member of staff who made the underage sale had been sacked.

Trading standards officer Catriona Macbeth said that Mr Abadi had already been advised about the availability of fake and smuggled wine, not least because the fuzzy merlot could not be accounted for.

The panel chairman, Councillor Dee Simson, said: “The panel did not find that the evidence given by the premises licence holder was credible.”

She said that the licence would be revoked.

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