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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.

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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 the 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.

Confiscation Order

On 1 August 2019, at Norwich Crown Court a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was awarded against Mr Sarhad Salari, subsequent to his conviction in June 2017 for the supply of illegal tobacco. Judge Bate agreed that the criminal benefit obtained by Mr Salari from his criminal conduct was £24,192.29 and the assets available to meet this payment amounted to £94,000.00. As both the investigating and prosecuting authority, Norfolk County Council Trading Standards is due to receive 37.5% of the criminal benefit figure. The court also awarded Trading
Standards prosecution costs in the sum of £19,000.00. 

Mr Salari was given a period of three months to satisfy the orders. In the event of his failure to pay the confiscation order a default sentence of twelve months imprisonment would be imposed. At the completion of this sentence, any payment would remain due with an additional 8% interest per annum. 

If you would like any further information about this particular case or the work of Trading Standards in general, please contact Norfolk County Council, Trading Standards.

Confiscation Order

On 31 July 2019, at Norwich Crown Court a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was awarded against Mr Haval Shokir, subsequent to his conviction in October 2017 for the supply of illegal tobacco. Judge Bate agreed that the criminal benefit obtained by Mr Shokir from his criminal conduct was £50,213.20 and the assets available to meet this payment amounted to £86,062.57. As both the investigating and prosecuting authority, Norfolk County Council Trading Standards is due to receive 37.5% of the criminal benefit figure. The court also awarded Trading Standards prosecution costs in the sum of £11,984.25.

Mr Shokir was given a period of three months to satisfy the orders. In the event of his failure to pay the confiscation order a default sentence of twelve months imprisonment would be imposed. At the completion of this sentence, any payment would remain due with an additional 8% interest per annum.

If you would like any further information about this particular case or the work of Trading Standards in general, please contact Norfolk County Council, Trading Standards.

Prosecution for sale of an unroadworthy vehicle

On 11 July 2019 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Car Shops Limited pleaded guilty to one offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 for the sale of an unroadworthy vehicle.

Trading Standards received a complaint in November 2018 regarding a Renault Clio motor vehicle which had been involved in a road traffic incident on 15 November 2018.  The vehicle had been purchased and collected from Car Shops Limited at Whiffler Road, Norwich the previous day.

The road traffic incident involved a front wheel becoming detached from the car whilst it was overtaking a lorry at speed between Wymondham and Thickthorn on the A11 Trunk Road in the morning, shortly after the purchaser had dropped her children at school. It was later identified that the wheel nuts on the front wheels of the vehicle had not been tightened correctly by Car Shops Limited during their preparation of the vehicle, the wheel nuts had worked loose, allowing the wheel to detach itself from the Renault Clio vehicle and roll along the carriageway. Thankfully, the driver of the vehicle was able to bring the car to a standstill scraping the wheel hub along the carriageway.  The driver, who was very shaken, was assisted by a lorry driver and Norfolk Constabulary at the scene. The vehicle had therefore been sold in an unroadworthy condition which could have resulted in serious injury or death.

During the investigation, Trading Standards became aware that a similar incident had occurred on another vehicle supplied by Car Shops Limited in Doncaster in July 2018. Although Car Shops Limited had identified their IT processes required an upgrade to ensure vehicle wheel nuts were correctly torqued prior to sale, the upgrade was not implemented for three months and no interim provisions were introduced. Such an interim process could have prevented the second road traffic incident in Norfolk.

The Magistrates determined Car Shops Limited should be fined £6,667 and awarded full prosecution costs of £1,308.08 to Norfolk Trading Standards. A victim surcharge of £666 was also applied bring the total sum to £8,713.08.

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