Finsbury shop loses licence after stabbing

City Supermarket, in Goswell Road. Picture: Google Street View

City Supermarket, in Goswell Road. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Google Street View

A convenience store has had its alcohol licence revoked - after selling knives to a violent teenager.

City Supermarket, in Goswell Road, Finsbury, was punished by Islington Council’s Licensing Sub Committee on Monday.

Though selling knives is not a licensable activity, police had applied for a licence review after the shopkeeper, Salman Capti, told two knives to a 17-year-old male in June last year.

Ten minutes later, he and two others used the knives to stab another male in nearby Cyrus Street. The victim survived, but suffered serious injuries.

In October last year, the teenager was sentenced to five years’ detention after admitting wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Mr Capti, meanwhile, was convicted in June for selling knives to an underage person and fined £600.

Police, concerned at a history of “poor management” at the premises, urged the committee to revoke its licence at Monday’s town hall meeting. The shop had already faced three reviews, including for selling alcohol to a child in 2013 and counterfeit goods in 2011.

The committee followed suit, and Cllr Paul Convery, Islington’s executive member for community safety, told the Gazette afterwards: “We haven’t withdrawn the licence simply because they sold the knives. There’s a whole host of factors. The fact they sold the knife in such circumstances is what rang alarm bells.

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“I have sympathy for the family involved: I have seen video footage of people in the shop and they face gravely intimidating behaviour.

“But at the end of the day, as store owners they have not been responsible in a series of incidents, including the knife.”

PC Nick Pamboris told the meeting that he visited the shop in July, and found two “challenge 25” signs to be small and hidden from view. A staff refusal log book was also unsigned. He said these were minor issues that could “lead to something far greater”.

Duncan Craig QC, representing Mr Capti, said: “On numerous occasions the authorities visited the premises for underage sales and each occasion it passed.

“Even if revoked, how could it have a positive impact? They can still sell knives. It’s an imprecise way of tackling this issue. Revocation is grossly excessive.”

City Supermarket was given 21 days to appeal the decision.