Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 12:16 UK

Drink ban on father with daughter

Customer outside Tesco store
Tesco said staff have to stop alcohol being bought for underage drinkers

A father has been told he could not buy a six-pack of lager because he was shopping with his 15-year-old daughter.

Dominic Zenden, of Old Catton, Norfolk, went into the Tesco store at Blueboar Lane, Norwich, after a day by the sea.

But check-out staff refused the sale based on a policy to stop underage drinkers getting hold of alcohol.

Mr Zenden said he bought the lager at a different store chain. Tesco said it understood Mr Zenden's frustration, but it was being a responsible retailer.

He said: "We put the drink on the conveyor belt and the supervisor said 'we can't serve you', and I said 'why not?' and she goes 'because you're with your daughter and she's not over 21'.

It's happened to me before when I was going to a barbecue with nieces and nephews and it's very frustrating.
Tesco spokesman

"I would totally support their policy because I think that underage drinking is a problem at this time, but I think a modicum of commonsense has to come into the policy itself.

"I'm sure there are a lot of people who buy wine with their weekly shop and have children."

A Tesco spokesman said: "It shows what a ridiculously difficult job our staff have to do on the front line.

"However, I'd rather have to apologise for refusing a sale than dealing with an underage sale that went through."

The spokesman added he had also experienced the same problems as Mr Zenden.

He added: "It's happened to me before when I was going to a barbecue with nieces and nephews and it's very frustrating.

"I went to a different store and left the children in the car."


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