Hove shop loses alcohol licence after serving intoxicated street drinkers

A shop accused of selling alcohol to street drinkers has lost its licence.

The Border Store, in Western Road, Hove, has had its drinks licence revoked by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The decision was made by a council licensing panel after a request by Sussex Police.

In one case a drunk man who was injured after walking into a bus was still able to buy a can of beer from the shop.

Barrister Piers Warner said that the shop’s owner Sameer Phillips had “grasped the nettle” to deal with the issues of concern.

But the panel, consisting of councillors Jackie O’Quinn, Dee Simson and Steve Davis, was unimpressed.

In its decision statement the panel said: “The panel have considered the conditions proposed by the licence holder and those put forward by the licensing authority and police.

“It is clear that there is a gulf between them as to what is deemed appropriate.

“For example, the premises considers that a ‘no sale of single cans’ condition is disproportionate while the responsible authorities consider it necessary.

“The panel agree that such a condition would be necessary and appropriate in these circumstances along with many of the other conditions proposed by the licensing authority and police.”

After reviewing submissions from Sussex Police, licensing officers, members of the public representing Norfolk Square, and Landsdowne residents, as well as Brunswick and Adelaide ward councillors Phélim Mac Cafferty and Hannah Clare, the panel decided to revoke the licence completely.

The panel said: “It is clear from the evidence of the Licensing Authority, the Police, the local community and their representatives that these premises have been trading irresponsibly by selling alcohol to intoxicated persons and the street community.

“This has undermined the licensing objectives to the detriment of the local community.

“In our view the response of the licence holder has not been satisfactory.

“While some improvements especially relating to conditions has been shown, there has been persistent intelligence about sale to the street community and this was witnessed again by the Licensing Authority and Police in July 2019.

“The panel considers that there has been a tendency by and on behalf of the licence holder to minimise these issues and a failure to take a more pro-active stance and fully appreciate the responsibilities involved.”

Mr Phillips will have 21 days to appeal against the decision.

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