Tobacco offenders hit with heavy punishments

Two tobacco offenders have been hit with tough sentences after being found guilty of a series of offences in separate cases.

Two retailers have been hit with tough sentences for breaking the law on tobacco sales.

In separate cases, one retailer was jailed for 10 weeks after admitting a series of offences, while another was banned from selling tobacco for a year.

In a case before Nottingham magistrates, Bistun Ali, owner of Sunstar Mini Market in the city, pleaded guilty to 14 different charges of possessing goods with a false trademark.

Officers raiding his shop and flat found 140 packets of cigarettes and 80 pouches of tobacco, as well as a sales list.

Five further visits in eight months yielded similar results and Ali was sentenced to two and a half months in prison.

Nottinghamshire city council’s trading standards team has already seen retailers it prosecuted have their alcohol licences revoked. Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle said: “We are delighted by the result in court this week which sends another reminder out that we will do all we can to protect our local communities from this sort of crime.”

In Lancashire, News Express in Preston was given a 12-month restricted premises order at Preston magistrates court.

The shop had been caught selling both tobacco and alcohol to children under the age of 18. The store will not be able to sell tobacco for a year.

Earlier this month, manufacturer JTI called on magistrates to get tough on tobacco offenders after a court in Somerset refused to revoke an illicit trader’s alcohol licence.


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