The owner of a Rhydyfelin shop has been prosecuted by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council after an underage teenage girl purchased alcohol from his premises.
The case involving Parthipan Dharmaratnam of Rhydyfelin Convenience Store and Off Licence on Ebenezer Street is another example of the ongoing campaign by the Council to protect young people from the harm caused by underage drinking and alcohol misuse.
Regular, proactive test purchase operations take place across the County Borough by Council Trading Standards officers to ensure those under the age of 18 are not being sold alcohol – or that over 18s are not buying alcohol and handing it to minors.
These operations are complemented by an ongoing programme of awareness and training sessions offered to licensees and their staff, to ensure they are clear on the law and how to prevent underage drinking.
In this case, a 14-year-old volunteer purchased the alcohol from Dharmaratnam’s brother, Vamanan Dharmaratnam. He was later issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice.
However Parthipan Dharmaratnam, aged 36 of Ynys Terrace, Rhydyfelin, who is the premises licence holder and owner of the business pleaded guilty to the offence under the 2003 Licensing Act at Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court. He claimed his brother thought he was selling the girl an energy drink, not alcohol.
Dharmaratnam was fined £330 and costs of £150 with a victim surcharge of £33.
David Jones, Head of Community Protection at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “We remain committed to tackling the harm presented by underage drinking and substance misuse by minors.
“Young people are being placed at risk of significant harm in terms of personal safety, health and wellbeing, as a result of alcohol misuse.
“The level of complaints from the community about underage drinking and associated disorder also means we will continue to robustly respond to this issue.
“Enforcement and operations such as this will always form a part of our response, but we also continue to work with licensees and their staff to ensure they are aware of their responsibility and also uphold the law.”
For more information on support for licensees, contact 01443 425777