Former newsagent sold alcohol to kids

A FORMER newsagent who sold alcohol and cigarettes to children has been heavily fined.

A FORMER newsagent who sold alcohol and cigarettes to children has been heavily fined.

Arulampalam Rajiharan, 34, pleaded guilty yesterdayto persistently selling alcohol to children on four different occasions between September and November last year.

The former owner of Humberstones news agency on Cauldwell Hall Road also pleaded guilty to selling cigarettes to a youth on two occasions in November.

None of the children who purchased alcohol or cigarettes were asked for identification.

Rajiharan had previously bought the shop and its name - it no longer has any connection with the Humberstone family.

Prosecutor Tess James said: “When the young people were spoken to by the police officers, they said they had heard on the grapevine that they would get away with it at the newsagents.”

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Speaking in court yesterday, Rajiharan, who lives in Arundel Way, said he was not sure who sold the alcohol to children. He said he sold the shop on March 1.

“That is my shop but there are two staff working there,” he said. “I do not know who sold to these children. I have now sold the shop and I do not have a job.”

Magistrates hit him with a �3,000 fine for selling alcohol to children and �1,000 for the two offences of selling cigarettes. He was also ordered to pay a �15 victim surcharge and �60 towards costs.

It is not the first time Rajiharan - known to customers as Raj - has been in trouble for selling alcohol to children.

In January this year he was banned from selling liquor after his licence was revoked. It followed a �750 fine by magistrates and a fixed penalty notice after he sold alcohol to children on two separate occasions last year, some just 13-years old.

At the time Suffolk police said they believed he “habitually” sold alcohol to those under 18 - the force also claimed it had received intelligence suggesting staff had sold booze to youngsters wearing school uniform.

Rajiharan also pleaded guilty yesterdayto a separate charge of using a motor vehicle without third party insurance. He had previously pleaded guilty to a further charge of driving a motor vehicle otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

Chairman of the bench John Horton banned him from driving for six months and issued him with fines and costs of �385.