A DRINKS licence has been granted for the new manager of a grocery store which three times failed test purchases of alcohol by underage customers.

But North Durham licensing magistrates warned Sean White and his two deputies, Scott Preston and Gary Parkinson, to ensure staff at the Kwik Save branch in Front Street, Consett, are fully trained and regularly reminded of the law relating to sale of alcohol to young people.

It follows the revocation of the drinks licence last week by the magistrates for two of Mr White's predecessors, who held the licence for the prem-ises when three 14-year-old girls bought bottles of alcopop in a ten-minute period in police supervised undercover purchases last December.

The court heard the two check-out operators who served the girls were themselves aged under 18 and had not received adequate training or supervision over the sale of alcohol.

Since the incidents both the previous manager and Mr White have put in place a number of measures to prevent any repeat.

Mr White told the court that the company has made a "local decision" at the branch not to employ staff under the age of 18.

North Durham licensing officer Sergeant Tim Robson raised no objection to the application. The bench granted the new off-licence in the names of Mr White, Mr Park-inson and Mr Preston.