Owner of Rother Valley takeaway denies selling alcohol from back of premises

The manager of a Maltby takeaway has told a license review meeting that it was “not true” that alcohol has been sold from the back the back of the premises.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 5:48 pm

Mohsen Koohi, the licence holder of Pizza Pizza on Maltby’s High Street, told the meeting of Rotherham Council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday that he has retrained his staff and worked with the council.

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Rotherham Council’s licensing department visited the takeaway in May, after receiving reports of “an incident of disorder outside the premises.”

Pizza Pizza on Maltby High Street faced a licensing review hearing today

A report by Keeley Ladlow, principal licensing officer at Rotherham Council, stated that: “the incident became a large fight outside of the premises resulting in one male sustaining serious injuries,” on May 23.

Upon visiting Pizza Pizza, licensing officers also raised concerns about alcohol being sold past the time authorised by the premises licence, and whether staff were verifying the age of customers before purchasing alcohol.

In September, the department applied to review Mr Koohi’s alcohol license, but withdrew it in October after “significant improvements” had been made, and were satisfied that the conditions of the licence were “being adhered to.”

The premises licence permits the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises Sunday to Thursday until 11.30pm and until 1am on Friday and Saturday, but the officer’s report states that CCTV showed bottles of Budweiser being sold at 1.26am.

During the meeting, councillor Sharon Biggin, chair of Maltby Town Council, said: “We just have major concerns about the disregard of rules around selling alcohol at permitted periods.

“Young people are being sold alcohol is what we’re being told.

“We used to see a lot of young people going round the back [of the takeaway]. I used to see young people coming from behind with carrier bags or with a bottle in their hand, and also we’ve had members of the public tell us that they’ve been seen selling alcohol to young people.”

However, Mr Koohi denied that any alcohol had been sold from the back of the takeaway.

“There’s a lot of young ones that come round the back, that have started smoking and sitting down. We try to shift the people,” he said.

“They just come back.

“Are we going to risk [our licence] to sell to young ones ten bottles? That’s not true.”

However, Alan Pogorzelec, licensing manager at Rotherham Council, said there was “no evidence” to suggest Mr Koohi had sold any alcohol from the back of the premises, and that a written warning had been issued in relation to selling alcohol from the counter.

Mr Koohi added that he had re-trained his staff, adding that the sale of alcohol after the permitted time was a “mistake”.

“I’ve owned this shop for 15 years and never had any issues,” he said.

He added that after the licensing visit, he had been made aware of the alcohol sales time and had “stuck to it”.

The licensing sub-committee, made up of councillors Sue Ellis, Rachel Hughes and Tony Griffin, withdrew to make their decision in private session.