Mr Imtiyaz Mamaniyat, the Director of Newsline Store Ltd, located at 7 George Street, Halifax, failed to appear at Bradford Magistrates Court on the 29th of June 2023.

He was summoned to answer a charge of selling alcohol to a child under the age of 18 from his business, known as Immy G’s.

In his absence, the Magistrates found Mr Mamaniyat guilty under the Licensing Act 2003, resulting in a fine of £330. Additionally, he was ordered to contribute £994 towards the prosecution costs and pay a £34 victim surcharge.

Mr Mamaniyat’s company, Newsline Store Ltd, was also found guilty and fined £330. The company was further directed to make a payment of £995 for cost contribution and pay a £34 victim surcharge. The total sum of £2,717 must be paid within 28 days.

The West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service (WYTSS) had been aware of the business’s activities, having received numerous complaints over several years regarding the sale of age-restricted products to minors.

In June 2022, an underage volunteer, accompanied by a Trading Standards Officer, entered Immy G’s and successfully purchased a 20cl bottle of Glen Vodka without encountering any age verification checks or requests for identification from the seller. The sale of alcohol to individuals under the age of 18 is strictly prohibited.

During the investigation, Mr Mamaniyat admitted to receiving previous letters from WYTSS in 2021 and 2022, informing him of his legal obligations and warning about potential test purchases by underage volunteers. It was also revealed that Mr Mamaniyat had previously accepted and signed a simple caution from WYTSS for a similar offence that occurred in October 2021.

Councillor Ann Kingstone, a member of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee responsible for overseeing Trading Standards, emphasized the importance of protecting children from harm, citing it as one of the key licensing objectives that all businesses must adhere to. She condemned the sale of alcohol to minors as a serious breach of this objective.

David Strover, Trading Standards Manager – Business Services, highlighted that the test purchase operation is an ongoing initiative aimed at combating establishments that sell alcohol to underage customers and violate the law.

Retailers are strongly advised to ensure that their staff members are trained and competent in refusing sales to individuals under the age of 18. Trading standards will actively investigate and prosecute any traders found illegally selling age-restricted goods.

Concerned consumers who wish to report illegal trading practices, including the sale of age-restricted goods to children, can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline at 0808 223 1133. Reports can be made anonymously to ensure the protection of whistleblowers.