TV psychic stunned by store's booze ban

A TV psychic says he was dumbfounded after being refused alcohol at a major supermarket because he was with his teenage daughter.Dominic Zenden, a medium who presents his own show on Sky TV, visited the Tesco store on Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston, Norwichwith his 15-year-old daughter Devon last Saturday to buy himself six bottles of Budweiser beer.

A TV psychic says he was dumbfounded after being refused alcohol at a major supermarket because he was with his teenage daughter.

Dominic Zenden, a medium who presents his own show on Sky TV, visited the Tesco store on Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston, Norwichwith his 15-year-old daughter Devon last Saturday to buy himself six bottles of Budweiser beer.

However, staff at the store refused to sell him the alcohol despite his insistence that it was not for his daughter.

The refusal was today criticised by the 45-year-old and a consumer group, who queried whether measures to prevent underage drinking have gone too far.

Mr Zenden said: “I was dumbfounded. There was absolutely no indication that my daughter would be drinking the alcohol, it was for me.

“I fancied a nice cool beer on a warm evening. But the woman told me that they don't sell alcohol to people who have children with them.”

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Tesco says that staff at the store are trained to ask for proof of age for anyone present at the purchase who they suspect may consume the alcohol.

Shops selling to minors three times in as many months face a £10,000 fine and a three month suspension of their license, and as a result, shops have become very careful to avoid selling to under-18s.

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We are doing lots of work to try to stop underage people from being able to get hold of alcohol, and one of the biggest problems has become adults buying for people who are underage. If our staff suspect that people are buying for people who are under the age of 18 then we do not serve them.

“Quite often they may be mistaken and the adult may be buying it for themselves, but we would rather the staff err on the side of caution than risk selling to someone who is buying alcohol for people who are under age.

“I can understand the frustrations of the customer but I think that any reasonable parent would understand the problem and support our policy.”

But Mr Zenden added: “I can understand people not wanting to sell alcohol to children but they haven't got signs up to say that they won't sell to people who have their children with them. If they did it would save a lot of embarrassment at the till.”

Clare Birtles, of consumer website www.consumerrightsexpert.co.uk, said today: “If he was of legal age and could prove it, if asked, and didn't seem intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, there's no apparent reason for them not to sell to him.

“Having a child of any age with him shouldn't have been the issue - often people buy beer and wine in supermarkets when they have children with them and have no problem with staff. The only reason might be some particular indication that he was buying the alcohol for a minor, but on the face of it the man has a legitimate complaint.”