Publican who sold booze to youngster is given fine
A LISKEARD publican has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 by the courts after he was caught selling alcohol to a child.
Lewis Jon Elliot, who runs the Railway Inn in Barn Street, was taken to court by Cornwall Council's Trading Standards team after they sent in a 16-year-old volunteer to try to buy alcohol on March 9 this year.
The test purchase operation, which saw the teenager buy a bottle of 'alcopop', was launched after the council department received information that suggested underage drinking was regularly taking place at the pub.
Cornwall Council said the same pub had failed a similar test purchase in 2010, after which support and advice was given to the licensee to prevent such a recurrence.
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Despite this, 29-year-old Elliot found himself at Bodmin Magistrates Court on November 28 charged with serving alcohol to a person under the age of 18.
Elliot pleaded guilty to offences under Section 146 of the Licensing Act 2003 and the magistrates fined him £265 for the offence. He was also ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and Cornwall Council's court costs of £837.31, totalling £1,117.31
As a result of the operation and prosecution, Cornwall Council's Trading Standards team issued a warning to other publicans and shop-keepers who do not carry out the necessary checks.
Nigel Strick, Fair Trading Manager at Cornwall Council said: "Alcohol misuse is causing all sorts of problems in Cornwall.
"Alcohol-related hospital admissions for the under-18s are higher than the national and regional averages, about a half of all violent crime in Cornwall is linked to alcohol and a quarter of the county's residents regularly drink above recommended safe levels.
"As a result, Cornwall Council's Trading Standards, working with young volunteers and the police will continue to conduct Test Purchase Operations against pubs, clubs and shops suspected of illegal sales of alcohol or other age-restricted goods.
"We hope that the result of this prosecution will send a clear message to all business in Cornwall – the sale of alcohol to children will not be tolerated".