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Ferhat and Bulent Ok fined after 15-year-old sold Fosters at Capitol Express, Maidstone

By Ed McConnell

Two brothers will have to fork out more than £3,000 after a 15-year-old was sold beer in a "devious" deal.

Medway Magistrates' Court heard Kent County Council Trading Standards sent an undercover teenager into Capitol Express in Vinters Park, Maidstone.

Ferhat Ok told the schoolboy to 'purchase' a pot noodle and the can of Fosters would be handed to him out of view of the CCTV.

Ferhat Ok "deviously" sold the boy beer
Ferhat Ok "deviously" sold the boy beer

Ok also advised him to walk out of the shop with the lager hidden under his coat.

The 'test purchase' was one of six carried out at stores that day but Ok was the only one to agree to the sale.

Concerns were raised about the store after KCC received reports of anti-social behaviour nearby.

Trading Standards sent a test purchaser there at an earlier date only to find the Challenge25 policy was not being correctly enforced.

Alongside Ok in the dock was his brother Bulent, the director of owner company Kensho Express Ltd. Both admitted the offence.

Magistrates took into consideration the remorse shown by the defendants but also similar previous convictions.

It was acknowledged Ferhat Ok had asked the teenager his age but had not completed this and failed to seek any proof. Magistrates branded the sale devious and said it was clear Ok had taken steps to disguise the purchase.

Both brothers were responsible for complying with the law, but magistrates decided not to suspend their licences after hearing the business was in the process of being sold.

The brothers were each fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,130.

Steve Rock, head of KCC Trading Standards, said: “We are very pleased with the result and that the court recognized the devious manner in which this sale took place.

“Ferhat Ok deliberately sold alcohol to a young person with complete disregard to the
impact that this would have on their wellbeing or the local community, clearly breaking the
law and his obligations as a licensee.

“Trading Standards works closely with the businesses, the police, and our colleagues in
the districts to ensure that young people are protected from irresponsible sellers of alcohol.

“We also work through initiatives such as the Community Alcohol Partnerships to assist
local communities to address issues such as antisocial behaviour and promote responsible
drinking.”

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