Shopkeepers have been warned that they face prosecution after a trader ended up with a £1,150 court bill for selling cigarettes to a 14-year-old.
Allah Ditta Sheikh, the owner of Sheikh General Stores on Dewsbury Road in Beeston, was fined £300 and ordered to pay court costs after a West Yorkshire Trading Standards operation.
Sheikh sold 10 Mayfair cigarettes to the 14-year-old girl, in a test purchase operation. He did not ask the girl for proof of her age.
The test was carried out after a complaint was made that the shop was selling cigarettes to underage children and followed previous warnings to the shopkeeper about selling age-restricted products.
Following the Leeds Magistrates’ Court hearing on Wednesday, Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, said: “This service is determined to reduce the number of underage sales of cigarettes to minors, and will continue to take legal action against the minority of traders who sell tobacco to under 18s.”
Coun Clive Hudson, of the Trading Standards Committee, added: “It is not acceptable that businesses put young people’s health at risk by selling them cigarettes.”
To report concerns about underage tobacco sales call Citizens Advice on 8454 040506.