A man’s bid to take on the premises licence of a Sutton Bridge shop where an illegal worker sold 15-year-olds alcohol has failed due to claimed connections with the previous owners.
Ramesh Babu Mohan had applied to South Holland District Council’s Licensing Panel to take over the responsibility for City Stores in Bridge Road.
In October the committee revoked the licence for the establishment from Arumugam Sarankan, a decision that has been appealed.
Mr Mohan had hoped to take it on, but Lincolnshire Police objected believing he has ties with Mr Sarankan, something Mr Mohan denies.
In the submission to the panel, Lincolnshire Police questioned why a London address Mr Mohan gave for what it said is a two-bed lease flat in central London was the same as one previously having been provided by a company associated with Mr Sarankan, though written slightly differently.
The police statement says: “On receiving the application Lincolnshire Police were immediately concerned due to the history of the premises, the very quick turn around since revocation and an application in a differing name from that of the appeal.
“The licensing sub-committee has experience of the many and varied ways they’ve seen premises, having had a licence revoked or application refused, try and obtain a new premises licence, with a new figurehead, when in reality the person behind the business is the same individual who had their licence revoked or refused.
“The evidence so far points to the setup of a new company in another’s name, yet with links to the previous company and owner due to the same address used, yet purportedly by people who have no history other than coming together for the selling and buying of the business,” the representation continued.
As well as agreeing with the police, the Licensing Panel said it had other concerns that since taking over the premises on November 8, Mr Mohan hadn’t updated numerous licences in his name.
“The panel were also concerned that the applicant had not identified that a late night refreshment certificate was required given the operating hours/licensing hours applied for,” the panel said in judgement.
Councillor Anthony Casson, SHDC portfolio holder for public protection, said: “The decision taken by the Licensing Panel is an important one to help continue to prevent crime and disorder in South Holland and to do all we can to keep our residents safe.
“The licensing objectives exist for a reason, and it is crucial that any business with a licence understands and follows them and shows that they can manage the premises effectively.
“Wherever we have concerns about this, we will always look to take action quickly to put things right and protect shoppers.”