Pressure is growing on the Office of Fair Trading to clear up the legal position of local authorities running ‘voluntary’ bans on super-strength beer and cider.
In February Ipswich retailer Christopher Sudeene (pictured above) appeared in court over the order to evict him after he refused to delist the strong, but legal products at his shop Granspen.
The judge acknowledged the retailer’s livelihood was at stake and directed that the case should go to trial. Sudeene is currently considering whether to fight his case in court, but is concerned about the £6,000 legal bill he would face if he loses.
“It’s unfair and they’ve been bullying me for a long time now,” he said.
Since Suffolk Police launched the Reducing the Strength campaign in Ipswich in September 2012, authorities in Birmingham, Newcastle and parts of London have followed suit.
Retailers claim they are being leant on by police to drop these products but so far the OFT has issued a statement claiming only that it is “aware of” and “monitoring” the situation.
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