A SHOP owner previously reprimanded for selling fake and illegal alcohol has lost his licence again – this time for tax evasion.

Tipple, in Queen’s Road, Brighton, no longer has permission to sell alcohol, Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing panel decided yesterday.

It follows an HMRC prosecution which saw the shop’s licence holder Koray Tatlidede, of Addison Road, Hove, plead guilty to deliberately and dishonestly suppressing sales, which reduced liability for payment of corporation tax on income. He also admitted to evading VAT.

Both acts were committed between October 2010 and 2014, at a time when the shop’s licence was already under review.

Trading standards officer Catrina Macbeth said it was a “serious” matter which HMRC rarely prosecutes for and recommended revoking the licence was the “only appropriate step” that could be taken.

The shop lost its licence once before under Tatlidede’s management in 2011 when trading standards officers found counterfeit wine and fake vodka. But magistrates allowed the decision to be appealed and it started trading again after the penalty was reduced to a three-month suspension.

The 32-year-old was visibly shaken at the hearing as he told the panel he only ever wanted to work hard, live a normal life and not to take part in criminal activity.

He brought with him paperwork which he said attested to his good character.

Ms Macbeth said trading standards had never had any other problems with him and the premises.

He said: “I have already been punished for this in court. I have to pay back money to the Government and I completed 150 hours of unpaid work.

“I am setting up a payment plan, but if I lose the licence I lose my business. How can I pay them back?”

He said he could not afford to bring solicitors to the meeting, adding: “I am a small business owner, me and my staff work really hard. I am there seven days a week and work between 10 and 12 hours a day – all through Christmas, new year and bank holidays for ten years. We are in an important location – I see us as the face of the city.”

He later told The Argus he is having to pay back fines of in the region of £39,000 to HMRC.

The panel, made up of councillor Adrian Morris as chairman, alongside fellow members Lee Wares and Dee Simson, said they had “no confidence” the licence holder could prevent crime while operating the premises.

Cllr Morris said the panel had a duty to act “in the interests of the wider public” rather than an individual licence holder.