A Cheshunt shop owner has been found guilty of selling alcohol to a 15-year-old girl, following a successful prosecution by Hertfordshire Trading Standards.

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Kemal Yilmaz, owner of Yilmaz Food Centre, in Turners Hill, pleaded guilty at Hertford Magistrates Court yesterday (October 11) to selling, through the act of one of his employees, a 750ml bottle of Lambrini to the girl, a volunteer in an undercover operation, on December 3 2009.

He was fined £600 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £617.42 and a £15 victim surcharge.

In mitigation, the court heard that since the sale the shop has improved its staff training and systems to prevent future sales.

Keith Emsall, Executive Member for Community Safety, said: “We hope this serves as a lesson to all such companies that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. Anyone selling age-restricted goods should adopt a ‘Challenge 21’ policy - if a customer looks under 21, then they should be asked to prove that they are 18.”

Acceptable forms of identification are proof of age cards such as photo driving licences or passports.

Members of the public can report shops which are selling alcohol to underage customers to Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. Businesses needing advice should contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards’ business advice line on 01707 292429.

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