A COUPLE who ran an off-licence have been fined and lost their personal licences after admitting selling alcohol to customers outside permitted hours.

Shadab Azam and his wife Anisa Shadab allowed the sale of alcohol from their News and Booze store in New Kyo, near Stanley, on three different Sunday mornings in July 2019.

Durham County Council’s licensing services received information that the shop was selling alcohol before its licensed hours, despite its licence stipulating that sales of alcohol on a Sunday are only permitted from 12pm until 10.30pm.

CCTV footage obtained from the shop revealed several sales on the previous four Sundays.

During interview, Shadab Azam said he thought the council had made a mistake when they sent him a copy of his licence as he was sure that the licence allowed him to serve alcohol from 10am.

The original licence application was checked and it showed that the time requested on the application was noon.

In a hearing at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, Shadab Azam, 41, of South View, Annfield Plain, admitted a charge of exposing alcohol for sale and two charges of allowing the sale of alcohol outside of licensable hours.

At the same court, Anisa Shadab, 35, also of South View, Annfield Plain, admitted one charge of allowing the sale of alcohol outside of licensable hours.

In mitigation, Anisa Shadab said she did not work Sundays or often work at the shop.

She added that she made an error and wasn’t thinking when the bottle of wine was presented to her by a customer.

Shadab Azam admitted that although he was granted the licence, he was not the best man for the job.

Magistrates ordered that both Anisa Shadab and Shadab Azam forfeit their personal licence.

Anisa Shadab was also fined £45 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £32. Shadab Azam was fined £135 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £32. Both parties were ordered to pay a total of £500 towards the costs of prosecuting the case.

Owen Cleugh, who is Durham County Council’s public protection manager, said: “Any premises that operates outside of what has been agreed risks undermining these objectives and increasing the risk of increased crime and disorder, public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm.”