No licence for woman who illegally sold wine hidden behind bedsheet

Sheets over booze. Picture: Havering Council

Sheets over booze. Picture: Havering Council - Credit: Archant

A woman who illegally sold alcohol to an undercover licensing officer from a fridge concealed by a bed sheet has been denied a licence by the council.

Cansu Eren, owner of the London Food Centre, in London Road, Romford, sold a £4.99 bottle of wine to Paul Jones, while alcohol sales were prohibited at the shop.

She appeared before the licensing sub-committee on Tuesday at Havering Town Hall, in Main Road, Romford, to apply for a licence.

Mr Jones visited the store on Tuesday last week after he received complaints from members of the public that alcohol was being sold at the premises Miss Eren had purchased for £10,000 just three weeks previously.

The officer said: “I asked if they had any wine and a gent said yes. I followed him into the shop and he raised one of the sheets exposing shelves filled with wine. I said ‘I want a cheap bottle of wine for my wife’. I was then served the white wine by Cansu.”

She then placed the bottle of Pinot Grigio into two carrier bags, said Mr Jones, before he left and took images of the alcohol for evidence.

Representing Miss Eren, solicitor David Dadds defended her decision to sell the wine.

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He said: “Regular customers were complaining to her that they couldn’t purchase alcohol. She was fearful that the business was being affected. Someone had already moaned that morning, saying he would not return. When the officer visited the premises, she was mindful that if she refused a sale she may lose more regulars.”

The committee also took into account matters which occurred under the previous management who the committee was not convinced had separated entirely from the business.

After deliberating for an hour and a half, the committee of Cllr Linda Van den Hende, Cllr Gillian Ford and Cllr Wendy Brice-Thompson rejected the application.

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