Shopkeeper Fined For Sale Of Single Cigarettes To A Minor

Wednesday 13 January

On Tuesday 12th January 2021 at Bradford Magistrates’ Court, Mr Mariwan Tofiq Mustafa was fined a total of £233 and victim surcharge of £32 plus £927 costs having pleading guilty to his shop supplying single cigarettes to a trading standards child test purchaser aged 15.  

 

On 31st August 2019 West Yorkshire Trading Standards (WYTS) carried out a test purchase at Piotr I Pawel, 23 Duckworth Lane, Bradford using an underage volunteer due to previous complaints and allegations that the shop had been selling cigarettes to local children. 

 

During the test purchase a trading standards officer witnessed the shop sell 2 single cigarettes to a child volunteer for £1. The sale of single cigarettes is illegal regardless of the age of the purchaser.

 

WYTS made numerous attempts to conduct an interview under caution with Mr Mustafa, but the shop owner did not respond to the requests for an interview.

 

David Strover, Trading Standards Manager - Business Compliance Team at West Yorkshire Trading Standards said, “the sale of non-prepacked cigarettes has been illegal for many years and it actively encourages minors to smoke, as it makes tobacco more affordable to children.  We will continue to take action against those who flout  the law and sell tobacco to minors.”

 

Councillor Sue Duffy, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards said, “It’s appalling that this shop has not only broken the law by selling single cigarettes but did so by selling to a 15 year old. I encourage the public to report any trader that is engaging in such criminal behaviour so that they can be brought to justice.”

 

Businesses are reminded to ensure that they ask for photographic identification to ensure they are not supplying cigarettes and tobacco to minors.   Should consumers have concerns about shops selling age restricted goods to children - please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 to report this, this can be done anonymously.