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Trading Standards enforcement

We enforce over 80 parliamentary Acts and 2,000 supporting pieces of legislation. Read our legislation enforced list for further details.

In doing so we recognise that while most people want to comply with legal requirements, some will operate outside the law (both intentionally and unintentionally).

We adopt a staged approach to enforcement, with advice and informal action fully explored to resolve the matter in the first instance. However we will consider taking immediate formal action for serious breaches.  All enforcement work is undertaken in accordance with our enforcement policy.

This information is made available for a limited period in order to promote the openness, transparency and accountability of the criminal justice system to the people it serves.

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Animal welfare prosecution

On 10 November 2020 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court Ms Julie Nott pleaded guilty to a charge under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of causing unnecessary suffering to a grey horse between 3 February 2020 and 18 March 2020, by her failure to follow veterinary advice given on 3 February 2020, following diagnosis by the vet that the horse was emaciated. This included the failure to supply faecal samples to enable the vet to complete diagnostic tests for his investigation into health issues which were causing the unnecessary suffering. Ms Nott also failed to engage with the vet
when further visits were required to the animal.

On 18 March 2020 Trading Standards executed a Warrant granted by Magistrates at Norwich and seized the animal to a place of safety. The Magistrates determined Ms Nott should pay a fine of £120, with an additional victim surcharge of £32. Costs were awarded to Trading Standards in the sum of £200.

A deprivation order was granted in favour of Trading Standards for ownership of the horse. The Magistrates also determined Ms Nott should receive a Disqualification Order for a period of five years, which prevents Ms Nott from owning, keeping or participating in the keeping, or being a party to an arrangement where she may participate in the keeping of equines. It also prevents her from dealing, transporting or arranging transport for equines.

At the same hearing Mr Oliver Jones confirmed his plea of not guilty to five allegations of causing unnecessary suffering to two equines under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at the same premises. Mr Jones also confirmed his guilty plea of ownership of a black mare without an identifiable passport in breach of the Equine Identification Regulations which requires all equines to have a passport of
ownership.

A trial for the five allegations has been arranged for 12-15 April 2021 at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court, along with sentencing for the breach of Equine Identification Regulations.

Confiscation investigation under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

On 9 November 2020 His Honour Judge Bate  granted confiscation orders against Scott Wolfe and Katie Hope, previously of Unthank Road, Norwich. Both had pleaded guilty on 25 February 2019 to multiple offences including forgery, fraudulent trading and money laundering and were later sentenced to terms of imprisonment of 4 years and 2 years respectively.

Scott Wolfe:

  • Benefit from criminal conduct - £239,391.11
  • Available amount - £4,000.00
  • Confiscation order in the sum of £4,000.00 with three months to pay and four months imprisonment in default of payment

Katie Hope:

  • Benefit from criminal conduct - £28,420.63
  • Available amount - £800.00
  • Confiscation order in the sum of £800.00 with three months to pay and twenty eight days imprisonment in default of payment

Sentencing for seller of illegal tobacco

On 4 November 2020, at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ court Mr Jamshid Ali pleaded guilty to the following offences:

(i) Nine offences of supplying tobacco products in packaging which did not contain a combined health warning in English; as required by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

(ii) Six offences of supplying tobacco products in packaging which was not correct for legal supply in England in that it was not in the permitted colour and shade of packaging, as required by the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015

At the hearing, the Bench:

  • Determined Mr Ali should serve 300 hours unpaid community work within the next twelve months
  • Set a victim surcharge of £80

The Bench also granted Trading Standards £1000 towards their costs and granted a Deprivation Order in favour of Trading Standards for the vehicles seized from Mr Ali, being a Mercedes Van and a Jaguar car. Forfeiture and destruction of the seized tobacco products was also granted.

This prosecution followed the receipt of complaints since 2016 that illegal tobacco products were being supplied and sold from three stores in King’s Lynn. Following a joint inspection undertaken with Norfolk Constabulary on 28 June 2018, a large quantity of illegal tobacco products was seized from a Jaguar Car belonging to Mr Ali and a Mercedes Van and rooms above an address in Norfolk Street, both of which Mr Ali had access to. The tobacco products seized included 46,490 packets of cigarettes and 1261 x 50g pouches of hand rolling tobacco (the weight of this hand rolling tobacco is approximately 9 stone 9 lbs). The equivalent legitimate value of all the tobacco seized would amount to £620,568.00.

This investigation forms part of a suite of illegal tobacco investigations undertaken by this Service to counteract the sale of such goods and ensure the health of consumers (especially the young who may be tempted to try cheap cigarettes) is not compromised.

Builder prosecuted

On Tuesday 4 August 2020, at Norwich Crown Court, Judge Bacon sentenced David Mark Fysh, 42, previously of Highgate, King’s Lynn and Main Road, West Winch, to a 9 months custody suspended for 24 months.

A compensation order of £15,636 was ordered to be paid to the victims as follows: £2,168 in 7 days and £500 monthly thereafter. A failure to pay as ordered will result in Mr Fysh being considered in breach of his suspended sentence. The Judge awarded full costs of £19,235 to Trading Standards. Mr Fysh was also fined £100 for breaching a previous suspended sentence and charged a victim surcharge of £122.

Victim Impact Statements were read out in court on behalf of the victims.

David Mark Fysh, 42, of Highgate, King’s Lynn was convicted at trial in November 2019, following a successful prosecution brought by Trading Standards of an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. The details of the case are that Mr Fysh charged a Norfolk homeowner more than £20,000 for a building extension. He did not buy the materials for which he had received monies from the victims, he did not complete the work and failed to refund the victims any monies paid to him for the works.

The court heard a building surveyor estimated the value of the work Mr Fysh actually did at £5,000. The unfinished work had progressed slowly over a number of months; however the surveyor estimated the work carried out should only have taken about 5 days.

The way this trader operated fell far short of expectations and today’s sentence reflects that. David Fysh charged for work he did not do and for materials he did not buy and refused to give any refunds. This was not only completely unacceptable under consumer protection law, but also very distressing for his victims.

Our advice for consumers is to always use a Norfolk Trusted Trader or a trader who has been personally recommended by friends or family who have had similar work done. Norfolk Trusted Traders can be found in the directory by visiting www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

If consumers are concerned about rogue builder activity, they can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Director of conservatory company pleads guilty to offences under consumer protection regulations

On 12 May 2020 at Norwich Crown Court, Jonathan Knights, who owned and ran Conservatories Etc. in Wymondham, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Both were offences of contravening professional diligence, this being the standard of special skill and care which a trader may reasonably be expected to exercise towards consumers, commensurate with honest market practice or good faith.

Conservatories Etc. supplied and installed home improvements, in particular conservatories, extensions and double-glazed windows and doors. The company supplied and installed a number of ‘warm-roof’ conservatories.

The first offence related to the company’s failure to obtain the necessary approvals, under building regulations, for warm-roof conservatories between 20 October 2016 and 25 January 2019.

The second offence related to the company continuing to trade from December 2018 even though it was known to be insolvent.

Mr Knights pleaded not guilty to an offence of fraudulent trading, also connected with the company’s trading when insolvent. This offence will lie on file for the time being.

The case was adjourned to Friday 21 August 2020 at Norwich Crown Court for sentencing.

Prosecution of seller of illegal tobacco

On 15 November 2019 at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court, Mr Honer Aziz of Europe Express, 59B Lynn Road, Gaywood, King’s Lynn, pleaded not guilty to the following offences:

  • Four offences of possession for supply of tobacco products which did not have a health warning in English, as required by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016
  • Four offences of possession for supply of tobacco products that were not displayed in the permitted colour and shade of packaging, as required by the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015
  • One offence of possession for supply of tobacco products which were dangerous products contrary to the General Product Safety Regulations 2005

The case was adjourned to 3 March 2020 and fixed for a one-day trial. Today (3 March 2020) at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court the defendant offered, and the prosecution accepted guilty pleas on the following offences:

  • Four offences of possession for supply of tobacco products which did not have a health warning in English, and
  • Three offences of possession for supply of tobacco products that were not displayed in the permitted colour and shade of packaging

The court sentenced Mr Aziz on charges 1 to 6 to a fine of £450 on each; total fine of £2,700 and a contribution to prosecution costs of £5,000. Mr Aziz is to pay at £1,000 per month.

This case revolves around an intelligence-led investigation into the activities of Mr Aziz of Europe Express, following Trading Standards visits to the premises on the following dates:

  • On 12 December 2017 (when no illegal tobacco was found) Mr Aziz was given guidance concerning the sale and supply of illicit tobacco products
  • On 24 May 2018 a total of 396 packets of cigarettes and 25 pouches of hand rolling tobacco were seized from a white Mercedes Sprinter van
  • On 10 September 2018 a total of 124 packets of cigarettes and 8 pouches of hand rolling tobacco were seized from a cake box under the counter at Europe Express. On the same date a total of 528 packets of cigarettes and 19 pouches of hand rolling tobacco were seized from a Kangoo parked at the rear of the premises
  • Simultaneously on 10th September 2018 a warrant was executed at a Gaywood address in King’s Lynn and a total of 10,223 packets of cigarettes and 225 pouches of hand rolling tobacco were seized from the address

This investigation forms part of a suite of illegal tobacco investigations undertaken by this Service to counteract the sale of such goods and ensure the health of consumers (especially the young who may be tempted to try cheap cigarettes) is not compromised.

Animal welfare prosecution

On 3 December 2019 Mr Cameron Russell of Norwich pleaded guilty to the following seven offences at Norwich Magistrates Court:

  • One offence contrary to section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for causing unnecessary suffering to a sheep by failing to act to protect it from accessing an unfenced ditch resulting in it drowning
  • Two offences contrary to section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for Mr Cameron’s failure to meet the needs of sheep and lambs he was responsible for to the extent required by good practice, namely
    • The provision of a suitable safe environment, and
    • The protection from pain, suffering and injury of two lame sheep
  • Four offences contrary to Regulation 7 of the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 for Mr Cameron’s failure to take reasonable steps to ensure farmed animals he was responsible for:
    • Were protected from risks to their health
    • Had access to a suitable water supply
    • Were in a state of well-being
    • Were cared for appropriately and without delay

The offences relate to a period of time in April this year when Mr Russell grazed 60 sheep and 15 lambs on rented land at Loddon. The landowner contacted Trading Standards to raise concerns about the manner in which Mr Russell was keeping his sheep. The land needed fencing and sheep were being put at risk by the open access to water dykes. This was compounded by the fact that the sheep were not being provided with water. Joint visits by a Trading Standards Officer and a vet from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) were carried out at the site and advice and formal notices were issued. Despite this the situation did not improve sufficiently.

On 18 April an APHA vet certified that the sheep and lambs would be likely to suffer if they remained on site. On the same day officers of the service then seized all sheep and lambs on site and removed them to a place of safety.

Mr Russell had previously received a number of visits to animals he was responsible for at various locations from Trading Standards Officers and vets from APHA following concerns and complaints made.

At Court today Mr Russell was sentenced to a 12-month community order for 150 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £100 towards costs Following an application for an Order by Trading Standards, the court also disqualified Mr Russell from owning animals, keeping animals, participating in the keeping of animals, being party to an arrangement under which he is entitled to control or
influence the way in which animals are kept, dealing in animals, transporting animals and arranging for the transport of animals. The order is in respect of all cloven-hoofed animals and poultry and will last for three years.

Trading Standards also applied for, and was granted, an order to deprive Mr Russell of ownership of the sheep that were seized. In granting the order the Court gave legal title of the sheep to this Trading Standards.

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