AN OFF-LICENCE is being forced to stop selling alcohol after 30 children were involved in a booze binge that left two needing hospital treatment.
Omkara, in Halls Terrace, Uxbridge Road, Hillingdon, must remove all alcoholic stock by August 13 following the decision to revoke the licence by Hillingdon Council's licensing sub-committee last Wednesday.
The decision came after teenagers were involved in binges on January 5 and 12 this year.
Speaking exclusively to the Gazette, Hillingdon police's licensing officer, Sergeant Ian Meens, said: "I was contacted by a concerned parent of a 13-year-old boy who was admitted to hospital having consumed a large quantity of alcohol.
"When police visited the girls he was drinking with it was evident that they'd had a drinking session, and as a result a number of them got themselves quite incapable and ill."
On another occasion, a 13-year-old girl drank so much her concerned friends had to call an ambulance. Statements from five children pointed the finger at Omkara.
They accused owner, Bindhu Santhoshkumar, of telling them to step out of sight of CCTV cameras, of serving cigarettes concealed in brown bags and signalling through the window whether it was safe to come in.
One child had the owner's mobile phone number and claimed they would call to make a drinks order.
Sergeant Meens said: "This became a very popular off-licence for selling to under-age kids. They were encouraged to bring their own bags.
"On a couple of occasions a kid walks up to the counter, pays, and then puts the bottle under his coat."
CCTV footage showed there was an area not covered by the cameras where the alcohol was stored.
Children were seen entering the shop, handing over cash and leaving seemingly empty handed, including on the evenings of the drinks binges.
During the hearing, Mrs Santhoshkumar claimed she was serving the children condoms, which she concealed to avoid her husband's disapproval.
She added she was unaware of the blind spot when the cameras were installed in May 2007 after she took over the shop.
Mrs Santhoshkumar said: "I didn't serve alcohol to anyone under age. I've had trouble with the kids before and reported them for stealing.
"I've got a lot of older customers, I don't need these young kids' money. I've not done anything wrong."
But the committee revoked the licence permanently. She was given 21 days to appeal against the decision.
Sergeant Meens added: "We're pleased we were able to put an end to this blatant disregard for the law, and the dangers selling alcohol has on the health and social well-being of children.
"I hope it sends out a message to other off-licences that this will not be tolerated."
Omkara Wines has until August 13 to stop selling alcohol now that its licence has been revoked.