SELLING alcohol to an under-18 police plant has led to an Ellesmere shopkeeper being fined this week, Shropshire Council has confirmed.

Thavaraja Thevakapilin is owner/premises licence holder of the Premier shop in Scotland Street, Ellesmere, and was ordered to pay fines and costs of £1,924 for the sale of alcohol someone aged under the age of 18.

The prosecution was brought by Shropshire Council’s trading standards service and the case was heard at Telford Magistrates Court on Monday, March 4.


Thevakapilin was fined £660 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and a victims surcharge of £264.

The prosecution was brought following a test purchase carried out by trading standards and West Mercia Police at the shop in June 2023 using a 15-year-old volunteer.

This was in response to information received that age-restricted products were being sold to minors from the premises.

During the test purchase on 1 June 2023, the volunteer was able to buy a bottle of WKD Blue, 700ml (4% ABV) with no challenge as to their age.

Thevakapilin had previously been advised on the law relating to age restricted products and how to avoid selling products to children.

Chris Schofield, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for planning and regulatory services, said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this prosecution.

“I hope it sends out a timely reminder to any business selling age-restricted products of the need to ensure they remain diligent and utilise practices that will prevent sales to minors.

“This is an example of trading standards acting on intelligence received in relation to age-restricted sales.

“This case also serves as a useful reminder to the public to report any concerns they may have to us in relation to underage children accessing age restricted products.

“We will continue to employ the use of test purchasing exercises throughout the year, targeting businesses where we have received intelligence or information that sales may be occurring to ensure that businesses are adopting these simple practices.”

Cllr Schofield added that the council intends to prosecute anyone falling foul of the law.

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He added: “Where businesses refuse or fail to take such reasonable measures then we will not hesitate to use the full weight of the law in the event of a sale occurring. 

“This will include the use of Fixed Penalty Notices, legal action in the courts and, where any business is licensed to sell alcohol, then we will also consider applying for a review of the premises licence.

“These reviews can result in a licence being revoked, suspended for a period of time or additional conditions being applied to the licence.”