Parents in Thorpe Bay are calling for a convenience store to be permanently closed down after it has emerged that a bottle of vodka was sold to a seven year old girl last week. Fortunately she didn’t open the bottle and consume the alcohol as her parents spotted the shopkeeper’s mistake and alerted the police.
On 10th November, Maddie Vladivar was walking home from Thorpe Valley Primary School when she stopped off at Magoo’s News Mart on Thorpe Bay Gardens. She approached the till, where she was served by store owner Martin Prune, and CCTV footage shows that she pointed to a bottle of vodka and asked for it. Mr Prune quickly placed it into a bag, took £9.99 from Maddie and she walked out of the shop.
Just 14 minutes later, Mr Prune was arrested at the scene, and he explained to an officer that he allowed her to buy the vodka as he ‘feared for his safety.’ According to a close friend, ‘He has had problems with small children throwing tins of beans around when refused service, and he was keen to avoid any kind of confrontation. He therefore assumed that she was buying it for her parents, or perhaps she was some kind of ‘little person’ who would be deeply offended if not allowed to purchase alcohol.’
However, it has now emerged that this is not the first time that Mr Prune has been caught selling restricted products to children. In 1999, he was investigated for selling cigarettes to a 9 year old boy in order to ‘show him the dangers of smoking and put him off for life,’ and also in 2004 it is alleged that he confused a carton of 200 Silk Cut with a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg when 6 year old Henry O’Henryhan visited his store.
Mr Prune will be allowed to continue trading until his court date in May 2017.
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