23 July 2008
CCTV evidence helped convict a man of illegally buying cider for two 16-year-old girls.
Magistrates fined Christopher Dean Miller, aged 19, of Deighton Close, Tredegar, £300, after finding him guilty of two offences of purchasing alcohol for the underage females. They also ordered him to pay £415 costs.
Abertillery Magistrates’ Court heard evidence that Miller went into Bargain Booze in Tredegar town centre twice on 29 March 2008.
On both occasions he bought alcohol. When he passed it on to the two girls his actions were caught on CCTV cameras. Blaenau Gwent Council’s Licensing Officers were called in to investigate.
The prosecution for the offence of buying alcohol for underage young people is the first by Blaenau Gwent Council’s Trading Standards in this area. The evidence included use of the Council’s own town centre CCTV recordings and information from the off licence proprietor.
Miller did not attend court and was found guilty in his absence. He was not represented by a solicitor.
Councillor Keith Barnes, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “Proxy purchasing - where over 18s buy alcohol for underage young people - is causing serious concern in Blaenau Gwent and across Wales.
“Young people, particularly young females, are increasingly putting themselves at risk of becoming victims of crime through alcohol misuse. Anyone supplying alcohol to young people may also be contributing to crime and disorder problems in the county borough.
“This case also shows that CCTV is an invaluable tool in helping to combat crime and disorder in Blaenau Gwent.
“We will continue to use all means available to tackle underage sales, together with our colleagues in the Safer Blaenau Gwent Partnership.
“The magistrates have shown that these offences will be taken seriously and we hope that this case will act as a deterrent to others not to purchase alcohol for young people.
“The assistance of the licensed trade and local people is essential in dealing with underage sales.”
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