A SHOP accused of selling vodka to a 14-year-old girl who 'nearly' died after becoming unconscious has had its licence revoked.

The council's application for a review of the licence held by Marshalls, on Wilderspool Causeway, was put forward on February 26.

And the licensing sub-committee made a decision at its meeting today, Friday, after criticising the holder of the premises licence and designated premises supervisor, both stated as Manjit Dhillon.

Cheshire Police supported the review and, as part of the evidence put forward, it said that on January 19 at around 9pm officers were alerted to a 14-year-old girl who was unconscious after drinking an unknown quantity of vodka.

She was taken to hospital and another 14-year-old girl told officers that they had purchased the vodka from Marshalls, without being challenged for identification.

The following day, police attended the off licence and asked to view CCTV but were told the system didn't work – despite a CCTV condition attached to the premises.

PC Neil Jukes, from the licensing enforcement department, said it can be 'very difficult' to find out where youngsters illegally purchase alcohol.

He added: “They don't want to tell you, as they are cutting off the source.

“However, there was a particular incident in January.

“A young girl, who was 14, was unconscious and unable to speak to officers.

"She was not responding, so in those particular circumstances children start to talk us.

"What they told us was they bought a bottle of vodka from that premises and were not challenged.

"The girl who spoke to the PCSO, the one who was not unconscious, confirmed they bought the alcohol.

"There was no CCTV – it is quite a comprehensive condition on the licence but there was no CCTV there."

Kim Blondon, the council's licensing officer, told the committee that there have been 'problems' since 2016.

She added: "We nearly had the death of 14-year-old child, who admitted to police her, and her friend, purchased alcohol from the shop.

“It is not my belief that there has been anything too onerous put on here with conditions.

“It is very difficult for us where we get to a situation where we feel like we have to come to a review."

Ms Dhillon highlighted a robbery at the store six months after she bought it in 2016 – and denied that it sold alcohol to underage people.

She added: "There was a robbery in my shop and I couldn't afford the cameras.

"Now I can afford it, so have put it on and the camera system works now.

“My camera system has worked for the last six weeks.

“The kids, they send older people in the shop to buy the alcohol.

“We never serve the kids by hand.

“I always check the IDs.”

Committee chair Cllr Pauline Nelson labelled the CCTV condition as 'vital', while stating that having it in the store would have allowed Ms Dhillon to dismiss the allegations and 'prove' her case.

She said: "That young girl, 14 years old, it was lucky a PCSO was there, otherwise that girl could have been sick and died with her vomit.

"It was such a vital condition on your licence to have the CCTV and you obviously ignored it.

"It is a very serious accusation against you, all this boils down to not having CCTV.

"CCTV is a major part of your licence.

"If you had CCTV you could have proved that was right."

The licence had authorised the supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises.

But the council asked for a review on the grounds that the licensing objective was being 'undermined' in relation to the prevention of crime and disorder by failing to ensure an effective CCTV system was in operation.

It also highlighted the need to protect children from harm following repeated allegations of underage people buying alcohol from the site.

The committee decided to revoke Marshalls' licence.

It has 28 days to appeal the decision, if it wishes to do so.