McCarthy to quit selling alcohol following latest prosecution

Patricia McCarthy
Patricia McCarthy
An under-fire Dunedin liquor store owner is quitting her four premises and will never get a licence to sell alcohol again, her lawyer says.

Patricia Margaret McCarthy, 69, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after admitting one charge of selling alcohol without a licence.

The court heard the defendant, who is a director of McCarthy Enterprises Ltd, had been prosecuted on five previous occasions by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority for selling alcohol to minors.

Last year, McCarthy had a licence application for her Mosgiel Bottle-O declined by the Dunedin District Licensing Committee for issues regarding suitability and employment.

Despite this, she continued selling alcohol and police observed an illegal sale in November.

The court heard while McCarthy had paid for her licence renewal, she failed to file the application.

Counsel Andy Belcher argued his client had suffered enough after the licence refusal.

"She won’t be in the business ... of supplying alcohol any longer," he said, explaining the defendant’s company would not be granted a licence again.

McCarthy had not planned to leave the alcohol industry before the prosecution, but was now going to retire and travel, he said.

"This is a classic case of one-off offending of very limited criminality ... the failure to apply for the licence wasn’t wilful," he said.

Community magistrate Sally O’Brien told McCarthy "given you had been in the industry for a very long time, you should have known".

The magistrate considered the stigma of a first conviction for the defendant at her age, as well as the hardship she had already suffered and that a conviction would inconvenience her when travelling.

Ms O’Brien granted a discharge without conviction but ordered McCarthy to donate $500 to an alcohol-harm-related charity of her choice.

The business had a temporary licence to sell down stock until the end of August.