Business stripped of licence for selling alcohol to drunks

Regent Express, in Regent Street, has had its premises licence revoked in Weston.Picture: Lily Newto

Regent Express, in Regent Street, has had its premises licence revoked in Weston.Picture: Lily Newton-Browne - Credit: Lily Newton-Browne

A town centre business has had its licence revoked for serving drunk customers.

Regent Express - formerly named Weston News, in Regent Street - came under review by North Somerset Council in January for serving two intoxicated men alcohol at the store last year.

One incident happened on September 19 when police said a 'very drunk' man entered the shop with girls in school uniform and the man was served a bottle of vodka by staff.

Speaking at a licensing review hearing in Weston's Old Council Chamber on Tuesday, Avon and Somerset Constabulary's licensing officer, Andrew Jones said staff served the man a bottle of vodka, despite his 'plainly evident drunken state'.

He said the customer had to be 'supported by friends' at the till and he was later arrested by police for shouting aggressively at members of the public and punching an ambulance.

The second incident occurred on November 28 when a group of intoxicated men, who had been moved on from Alexandra Parade for being 'abusive and antisocial', were served alcohol at the store.

Mr Jones said: "Police are very concerned staff at the store are selling alcohol to vulnerable people who are drunk, which leads to crime and disorder and antisocial behaviour in the town centre.

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"It is also concerning that there is a risk to children who are being allowed access to alcohol in the immediate area of the store.

"Despite trying to work with store owner Mehmet Oztaskin, he has repeatedly chosen to blatantly breech the conditions of his licence."

Nick Semper, representing Oztaskin at the meeting, stated there was no evidence of schoolgirls buying alcohol at the store, which was confirmed by police.

A premises licence was granted to Weston News in September 2014 and Oztaskin took ownership of the store in January 2019.

He was told by police he was in breach of his premises licence for not handing over CCTV footage to help officers with the investigation in July.

The council found him in breach of his licence for not naming staff who are authorised to sell alcohol, for cameras not covering the front door or side access, not recording staff training and for not registering people refused service.

Mr Semper said the owner had fired staff linked to selling alcohol to the drunk men at the shop with 'immediate effect'.