Trading standards have said that a case in which a man was recently caught selling illicit tobacco sends out a clear message.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s team caught 48-year-old Paul Davey selling the cigarettes from the Bellamy Road Community Shop in Mansfield.
Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, committee chairman for community safety said: “We are very pleased with this latest court outcome. It continues to send out the message that we are here to protect our local communities from this sort of trade.
“Genuine cigarettes have a safety feature which means they extinguish if they are left unattended; counterfeit cigarettes do not have this feature. Nationally the cost of smoking related house fires is estimated at £507 million per year.”
Davey has been given a six month community order involving a curfew from 8pm to 8am, and been ordered to pay £630 costs for admitting to the supply of illicit and dangerous cigarettes.
The county council’s trading standards team visited the shop in June and bought a packet of cigarettes from him. Officers had suspected the tobacco was illegal and carried out an inspection of the shop, finding further cigarettes elsewhere on the premises.
Davey told the officers that he owned the cigarettes but that no one in the shop sells the cigarettes and he keeps the proceeds of what he made. He estimated to selling around ten packets a day for the last nine months.
Sample of the cigarettes recovered and were tested and found to fail the requirements of the UK safety legislation. They would not self-extinguish if left unattended.