Trouble shop banned from selling booze

IPSWICH: Police today praised a decision to prevent a town centre off-licence selling alcohol after a 17-fold increase in trouble in the area.

Colin Adwent

IPSWICH: Police today praised a decision to prevent a town centre off-licence selling alcohol after a 17-fold increase in trouble in the area.

However, Christopher Sudeene, licensee of Granspen in St Matthew's Street, said the borough council's decision to revoke he booze permit could drive him out of business. He now aims to launch an appeal.

In their application to the council's licensing sub-committee, police said there were only 10 incidents of disorder relating to street drinkers in the year before Granspen opened in July 2008. However, last year that number increased to 169.


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There were reports of violence, begging, drunkenness, intimidation and general disorder. Nearby businesses were also adversely affected and reported a vastly reduced trade.

Police also said that on several occasions staff at the off-licence were either unable or unwilling to produce closed circuit television footage after someone who was drunk was allegedly served.

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Mr Sudeene said there had been technical problems with his CCTV, but admitted that initially he failed to keep recordings for 28 days as required under his licence. He denied any allegation of anyone being served when they were drunk.

After the hearing, Inspector Becky Kidd-Stanton of Ipswich Police said: “This is a very positive result for the community, many of whom made impact statements about the problems they have been experiencing.”

However, Mr Sudeene responded: “I think it is unfair and I'm going to appeal. I will continue to trade, but I don't know if I will survive. I'm working around 100 hours a week and have had only two days off in 16 months.”

Councillor Louise Gooch, portfolio-holder for licensing, said: "We do not take decisions like this lightly and it followed a lengthy debate. However, we cannot tolerate a situation where irresponsible sales of alcohol lead to irresponsible drinking and possible anti-social behaviour.”

The ban comes as a retailer in Haverhill was ordered to pay �2,600 in fines and costs for selling a bottle of WKD blue to a child.

Ravendeer Rai, of Chalkstone Stores in Haverhill, admitted the charge - brought against him under the Licensing Act by Suffolk County Council - when he appeared before magistrates yesterday in Bury St Edmunds.

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