A Brighton corner shop boss has won an appeal after his drinks licence was revoked by a council licensing panel more than two years ago.
Awarah Shikha, 30, who runs Tivoli Food and Wine, formerly known as Sabina Mini Market, in Tivoli Crescent, Brighton, represented himself at Brighton Magistrates’ Court today (Friday 24 March).
His premises licence was revoked by a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel in November 2020 after trading standards officers found 90 bottles of fake prosecco on sale at the shop.
Mr Shikha, an Iraqi, admitted that he had bought the fake wine from a “white van man”, with no way of tracing it and no receipt.
After it had been confiscated, councillors were told that tests had found that the illicit wine was not dangerous.
The revocation of Mr Shikha’s licence was put on hold because he appealed within 21 days against the licensing panel’s decision.
The council’s licensing register shows that he has since become a personal licence holder which would have required an accredited qualification an up-to-date criminal record check.
Today, Rebecca Siddell, for the council, said: “There was some considerable delay in this matter for administrative reasons.
“In the intervening periods, visits have been made by trading standards officers and the premises have been found to be trading responsibly.”
The council and Mr Shikha had agreed a set of conditions that could be attached to the premises licence, many of them common to many licensed premises in Brighton and Hove.
One of the conditions stated: “All invoices relating to all alcohol shall be made available to police officers, authorised officers or HMRC (Revenue and Customs) officers on request and without delay.
“No alcohol products may be purchased or taken from unsolicited (cold) callers calling at the shop.
“The premises licence holder will immediately report to Sussex Police and trading standards any instance of a cold caller calling at the shop attempting to sell alcohol or tobacco goods.”
The licence conditions also include standard requirements relating to security camera systems.
The magistrates allowed the appeal and substituted the decision by modifying the conditions attached to the premises licence in line with the agreement between Mr Shikha and the council.
Both sides said: “This agreement promotes the licensing objectives and is fair, reasonable and proportionate.”
Good! He should never have been put in that position. The committee members had a change of heart and mind in the 11th hour. Common sense prevails.