Children Admitted To Hospital After Newsagent Routinely Sold Alcohol

14/04/2015 11:20 | Updated 14 June 2015

Drunken teenage girl asleep on a bed clutching a bottle.

A newsagent routinely sold alcohol to children as young as 11 – causing two to be admitted to hospital with alcohol poisoning and another to be brought home drunk by police.

The shopkeeper from the B&J Newsagent in Newport, South Wales, told the children to hide the bottles of alcohol under their coats to avoid being caught on CCTV.

Investigators found 55 children were regularly sold alcohol by the newsagent, who now faces losing his licence.

Consumer officer Emma Abbott said evidence shows children 'soiled themselves, vomited and became unconscious' after drinking alcohol sold to them.

She said: "The newsagent was illegally selling the alcohol to children by asking them to put it in their coat so the CCTV cameras would not record the sale."

Staff at a nearby high school overheard children aged 11 to 14 talking about buying cigarettes and alcohol from the shop.

One member of staff said when he drove past it looked like there was a 'school assembly' outside the newsagent with up to 60 children gathered outside.

Miss Abbott, fair trading officer with Newport council's trading standards, said it was 'common knowledge' the newsagent would sell age restricted items - meaning children from other areas were travelling to the shop.

Evidence alleged two 12-year-old girls became so ill from alcohol bought at the shop they had to be taken to hospital.

Another 13-year-old was brought home drunk by three police officers because she could not walk.

Gillian Richardson, executive director of public health at Aneurin Bevan NHS Board, said: "The evidence is overwhelming as to why we should be protecting children and young people from drinking alcohol in excess quantities and at a young age.

"It is therefore imperative that every effort is made to prevent the sale of alcohol to children and young people and protect them from harm."

Shopkeeper Jayesh Patel, who has run the newsagent for 10 years, could lose his licence when Newport council chiefs meet.


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