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Shop loses alcohol licence after schoolgirls turn up drunk to classes

PUBLISHED: 12:11 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 20 March 2019

TSB News has been stripped of its licence. Pic: Rachael Burford.

TSB News has been stripped of its licence. Pic: Rachael Burford.

Archant

A newsagent has been stripped of its licence following claims it sold vodka to schoolgirls who turned up drunk to morning lessons.

TSB News has been stripped of its licence. Pic: Rachael Burford.TSB News has been stripped of its licence. Pic: Rachael Burford.

TSB News in Vallance Road, Bethnal Green, was accused of selling booze to underage pupils from Mulberry Academy Shoreditch and Oaklands Secondary School.

Tower Hamlets licensing committee heard that the shop sold the spirits to girls who were wearing their school uniforms.

Cllr Peter Golds, the committee chair, said: “This is a shocking case.”

TSB News first came under suspicion in November 2017 when a student arrived at Mulberry intoxicated, according to police reports.

Another girl was found to be drunk in her morning class at nearby Oaklands Secondary School on the same day and ambulances were called for both pupils, officers said.

Teachers who smelled vodka on the girls’ breath called safer schools officer PC Simon Lambert.

He said: “[There are] numerous occasions when female students attended in a state of either partial or extreme intoxication.

“The shop is known to students as a venue where you can buy alcohol regardless of your age.”

In December police sent two undercover children, aged 13 and 15, into TSB News and they were able to buy a can of Stella and bottle of WKD unchallenged, according to officers.

Dr Vanessa Ogden, CEO of Mulberry Schools Trust, said: “The academy ensures that all its young people are thoroughly safeguarded and therefore deals robustly with those who supply vulnerable youngsters illegally with alcohol, reporting such matters to the police immediately.”

TSB News had its licence revoked at a hearing yesterday.

Shop bosses did not attend after telling a council officer they were “too short staffed”.

They have 21 days to appeal the ruling.

Cllr Golds added: “We do not take the decision to go ahead without the objectors lightly. However, on this occasion it appears there has been an ongoing sale of alcohol to children over many years and this must be stopped.”

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