A shop on Oxford Road has lost its licence to sell booze after repeatedly buying alcohol that had been stolen from supermarkets.

The council revoked the licence of Oxford Food and Wine, on 512 Oxford Road, today (Tuesday, March 16) after shop staff were caught buying stolen alcohol from a known shoplifter and drug user on 16 occasions.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Licensing committee made the decision after receiving and hearing evidence from the police, the council’s licensing team and the shop owner.

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Shop owner Thinesh Sinniah was arrested by police officers after they visited his shop to investigate and found 84 stolen bottles of alcohol in the stock room on January 11.

Councillor Deborah Edwards, chair of the council’s Licensing committee, said: “There was sufficient evidence of failings under the licensing objectives to warrant revocation of the licence.

“The sub-committee considered a tightening of the conditions could improve the situation at the premises, but considered from what they had read and heard, they had no confidence in Mr Sinniah to actually comply with what he was required to do.

“He had known it was wrong to purchase stolen alcohol yet continued to do so on 84 occasions. Not 16, as each bottle was considered an occasion.

“The sub-committee had no confidence in the premises licence holder to uphold the licensing objectives as he had purchased stolen alcohol because it was cheap without any consideration of the impact on other business or within the area, in fuelling crime and disorder for drug uses.

“His controlling influence in the business would hamper compliance and he had not shown he had complied with the conditions of his caution in not sending a written apology to Marks & Spencers.”

Stolen alcohol

Stolen alcohol

Tags from stolen alcohol

Tags from stolen alcohol

Mr Sinniah has the right to appeal the decision within the next 21 days.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) submitted the application to review the licence and had called for the licence to be revoked.

They said the shop had bought the alcohol from a known shoplifter and drug user, with evidence showing the bottles were from several different supermarkets.

The shoplifter is due to appear in court.

Legal representative Saba Naqshbandi said: “It is clear from the CCTV that all staff were involved.

“They were plainly aware that they were buying stolen goods. The tags were on and had to be removed before being sold on.“

Mr Sinniah had told the police he bought the stolen alcohol “because it was cheap”.

He apologised at the meeting and his legal representative said he was “ashamed” of his actions.

However, two months on from the arrest and caution, he had not written to M&S to apologise, one of the conditions of his caution, which did not impress councillors on the committee.

The council’s licensing officer Robert Smalley took a more lenient position, suggesting new designated premises supervisor should be employed, conditions on the licence strengthened and a three-month suspension put in place.

Mr Sinniah’s legal representative had asked the council to support its licensing team’s recommendation.

But the three councillors on the Licensing sub-committee said they had no confidence in Mr Sinniah, who would have remained as premises licence holder under the new conditions.

Councillor Jeanette Skeats said: “Where was his moral compass?

“Every time he purchased stolen alcohol, it was having a negative affect on other businesses where alcohol was being stolen from.

“It was supporting the world of shoplifting and drug addiction.”

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Six other shops on Oxford Road have had their licences reviewed in the last few months, but none lost their licences.

Instead, all were handed super-strength booze bans, preventing them from selling beer and cider above 6.5 per cent.