A Grimsby shop owner accused of attempting to frustrate police attempts to tackle issues at his premises, has been given another reprieve after a second application to transfer his licence to his wife was submitted days before a decision was due.
North East Lincolnshire Council’s licensing committee was due to examine a licensing review for Thambiah Rameshkumar’s shop Cartergate News and Wine, on Thursday.
However, David Dadds on behalf of Mr and Mrs Rameshkumar successfully called for a month’s adjournment till later in May after a last-minute application to transfer the licence to wife Jeyathevi was made.
This is the second time this year this has happened, with the committee previously due to decide on an application to transfer the licence in February — however, that was withdrawn at the last minute after Humberside Police accused the couple of trying to circumvent their application review.
Mr Dadds said: “Because that application has been made in the last couple of days, I wrote to the licensing authority, and said it is probably in the public interest to adjourn this hearing, so as to allow for time for that application to go through or co-join them together.”
Responding to accusations the move was a further attempt to frustrate the process, he said: “That is not the case, the review hearing whether an application to transfer or not has been made, proceeds regardless.
“It may be that it’s slightly delayed until this transfer is dealt with, because you may be dealing with a new party, the wife, taking over the ownership of the business but there’s nothing wrong with that.”
However, James Holding, representing Humberside Police, said: “These very late in the day applications are nothing but an attempt to frustrate the review process.
“This is not the case where the premises has been sold to a completely separate individual or entity, which would alleviate any concerns that the applicant or the subcommittee may have.
“The transfer is to the respondent’s wife and the reason that is a concern is that Mrs Rameshkumar was the owner of the premises throughout all of the incidents that triggered reviews between 2009 and the most recent incidents in November and December of last year.”
Chairman David Hasthorpe said: “In the interest of the public and transparency we believe that it is wise to adjourn at this particular date.”
A recent investigation by Humberside Police found Mr Rameshkumar selling stolen goods including Poundland tuna.
A previous incident saw a shop worker assault a customer using a hammer and weapons were found stored behind the counter including a metal sword and a plastic cricket bat.
Historical reviews going back to 2009 have also revolved around underage sales and sales to drunk members of the public.