As part of a Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards undercover operation in February, an underage test purchaser visited nine different shops. Hill Street News and Off Licence in Raunds was the only shop that sold cigarettes to the test purchaser during the operation.
When interviewed, the shop owner Baskaran Thibakaran said the shop assistant who sold the cigarettes was not an employee but was helping him out for half an hour.
Fine and costs
Thibakaran, 38, of Hill Street, Raunds, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Tuesday) where he admitted selling cigarettes to someone under the age of 18 and was fined £1,400 and ordered to pay court costs of £1,394.16 and a victim surcharge of £140.
County council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage said: “This case demonstrates that our Trading Standards team will not hesitate to take action if they suspect a business of selling age-restricted products to children, and we will continue to carry out checks and test purchases whenever we receive complaints and intelligence about underage sales.”
Members of the public who have information about the sale of age restricted products to children should call Citizens Advice on 03454 040506 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
Any business that would like further advice can contact Northamptonshire Trading Standards at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/TSBusiness-support.