The owner of a Swindon convenience store, who was accused by police of selling alcohol to underage customers in exchange for sexual acts, has said that there is no evidence against him and the impact has been devastating for his family.
Meadowcroft Express convenience store in Meadowcroft in Upper Stratton faces losing its licence after police say it sells alcohol to children and even allege under-age sexual acts are exchanged for drink. Wiltshire police have asked Swindon Borough Council’s licensing panel to review the premises licence held by Chintan Shah at Meadowcroft Express convenience store.
It is also being alleged that that children were allowed to work in the shop with no safety training, there were some staff working there who did not have the right to work in the UK and that there was intelligence to suggest drug dealing and drug taking was happening at the premises.
Expressing shock at the claims, Shah hit back saying he only found out about the allegations when he received a letter from police.
“There is no evidence against me. All of the necessary documents have been submitted to the council and to police,” Shah told Wiltshire Live.
“This has nothing to do with my personal name, but it has affected me personally, my wife, my young children and my standing in the community. The police haven’t put in any evidence. It’s just hearsay, what people have said to them. Anyone could say anything.”
The father of one 11-year-old, one six-year-old and a newborn, added that he has already noticed a change in the community’s behaviour towards him since the allegations emerged.
The county forcer has put forward a submission to the three-councilor strong licensing panel, which will meet later this week.
The submission reportedly mentions that children were allowed to work at the shop with no safety training and an injury has previously taken place and that there are staff working who do not have the right to work in the UK.
“There have also been other underage females that were served alcohol in this shop in return for the young person performing sexual acts,” states the police submission.
The submission goes on to state that the basic ethics of the premises is selling products, notably to children, that appear to be encouraging crime.