A BUSINESSMAN has been allowed to run an off-licence – despite lying to police about a road accident and receiving a suspended prison sentence.

Council chiefs have approved Kuldeep Toor’s application to manage the Best One store in New Milton, even though he has a conviction for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Mr Toor was driving his mother’s Mercedes car through Hounslow, Middlesex, when he smashed into a lamp-post.

He rang the police and falsely claimed that the vehicle had been stolen earlier in the day, members of New Forest District Council’s licensing sub-committee were told. When the case went to court Mr Toor received a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Former police officer Paul Sherratt, Mr Toor’s representative at the sub-committee meeting, said the accident happened 18 months ago.

He said his client was depressed following his mother’s illness, the collapse of his property business and the end of his 22-year marriage.

PC Bethan Wood objected to the application on behalf of Hampshire police. She said Mr Toor’s conviction for attempting to pervert the course of justice meant he was not a suitable person to sell alcohol.

“He lied to police and then took evasive action to avoid being contacted,” she said.

But Mr Sherratt said: “Police are still trying to punish him for a mistake he made 18 months ago.”

The sub-committee approved Mr Toor’s application to become the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) at Best One, saying the offence he committed was “not relevant” under the 2003 licensing act.