TWO Pensnett shopkeepers have been fined and stripped of their licences after selling alcohol to two 15-year-olds.

A member of staff at SSK Convenience Store in Church Street, sold the lager during a routine test purchase exercise carried out by Dudley trading standards in January 2016.

Dudley licensing committee revoked the premises licence in April, which was appealed and later dismissed, meaning the licence remained revoked.

The holder of the premises licence, Thanikan Packiyanathan, of Teasel Avenue, Milton Keynes, failed to attend the court hearing but was found guilty in his absence of three offences under the Licensing Act 2003 including selling alcohol to a child and not displaying his licence on the premises.

The 35-year-old was fined £440 and ordered to pay costs of £539 and a victim surcharge of £44.

Pirashanthakumar Thangarasa, aged 21, of Hackle Lane, Kings Heath, who was the designated premises supervisor, pleaded guilty to the sale of alcohol to a child.

He was fined £180 and ordered to pay costs of £539 and a victim surcharge of £30.

He was also stripped of his personal licence on the grounds of not being fit to hold a licence.

Councillor Rachel Harris, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Trading standards officers regularly visit shop keepers in the borough to advise on the law relating to age restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco and we encourage them to sign up to the Challenge 25 scheme.

“We also carry out regular test purchases using under age volunteers to check that the law is being complied with. Shop staff must be trained and supervised to ensure that ID is always asked for if a purchaser looks under 25 and the sale refused if no ID is produced.

"We won’t hesitate to prosecute where shop keepers are not diligent and do not follow the advice given as it is an important public health priority that children are not able to buy alcohol.”