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Somerset shop accused of selling spirits and vape products to kids

February 26, 2022

A grainy photo of illegal tobacco products found in Mr Mosher's car. (Photo: North Somerset Council via LDRS)

By Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter

A “strangely dark” Nailsea shop that allegedly sold spirits and vape products to underage kids could be stripped of its alcohol licence.

Nailsea School said Nailsea International Stores was causing “huge” safeguarding concerns and putting its students at risk.

A mum told Avon and Somerset Police her 15-year-old son had bought vodka and Jack Daniel’s from the shop, where staff made no attempt to check his age. She said it was “common knowledge” among the boy’s school friends that “anyone underage” could get served alcohol, especially on a Friday, and two underage school girls had bought vapes during his visit.

Another parent claimed their children’s behaviour changed after they were allegedly led through the Colliers Walk store to buy illegal tobacco and vape products from a parked car.

When Trading Standards investigated, licence holder Nadjet Mosher was seen putting his car keys in a bin. Two large holdalls were found on the back seats of his Vauxhall Astra containing a large amount of illegal tobacco.

Mr Mosher told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that no illegal tobacco products were found in the shop and he was unaware of any underage sales until he was informed by Avon and Somerset Police. He claimed he was ill with Covid-19 at the time and asked someone else to cover for him. Mr Mosher closed the shop last month.

Izzie O’Connor, the pastoral and wellbeing manager at Nailsea School, said it had been causing daily issues. “As a school we put the safety of our students first and this shop is having a detrimental impact on our students and how they are acting in the community due to this store,” she said.

The business secured a licence in November 2020 to sell alcohol from 8am until 8pm. Mr Mosher also has a shop in Filton in Bristol.

One resident who complained about the “strangely dark, camouflaged” shop said the stairwell outside “reeks of cannabis” and there is often a crowd of 10 or more “somewhat arrogant, rude and threatening” youths.

Responding to a notice saying the licence would be reviewed, she said: “Nailsea precinct does not need an off-licence or any other store selling alcohol.

“Whilst I cannot prove alcohol was sold to underage drug-taking scumbags, I can’t disprove it either. It is a strange, dark shop which looks dodgy and is virtually empty. We want it gone.”

Police licensing officer Andy Jones said Mr Mosher had shown a “complete disregard” for the conditions of his licence and asked for it to be revoked by North Somerset Council.

“Mr Mosher has shown no understanding of his responsibilities and licence conditions and his attempts to show due process and evidence of basic paper records within the shop can be best described as shambolic,” he said.

“Mr Mosher is covering two shops and using untrained staff to cover his absence and it is clear that his business plan is sales at any cost or thought of any consequences to the customers.”

The premises licence will be considered by North Somerset Council’s licensing subcommittee on February 28.