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.

It is made available solely on the basis that it is for the individual use of the person who has accessed this page.

The information on this page must not be stored, recorded, republished, or otherwise processed without our explicit agreement.

Prosecution for breach of a disqualification order - Animal Welfare Act

On 22 and 23 October 2018 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Mr David Page, also known as Mr William Hand, pleaded guilty to a charge of participating in the keeping of a bay pony between 21 May 2017 and 9 August 2017.  This breached the lifetime Disqualification Order imposed upon him by Norwich Magistrates’ Court on 1 December 2016.

The lifetime Disqualification Order, which prevented Mr Page from keeping horses or cloven hoofed animals, was granted following his conviction on eight charges of causing unnecessary suffering to twenty horses and failing to take reasonable steps to protect seven horses from pain, suffering, injury and disease under sections 4 and 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

At the sentence hearing for this breach on 23 October 2018 the Trading Standards matter was joined with a CPS matter to give a total sentence for Mr Page’s offending.  The Bench determined Mr Page should receive 17 weeks immediate imprisonment.  On release he will be subject to a Supervision Order which will run for twelve months starting on the date of release from prison.  If this is breached he would be returned to court.

The Bench also recognised Mr Page had breached his lifetime Disqualification Order and granted  a further lifetime Disqualification Order in respect of all animals with the exception of dogs.  This prevents him from owning, keeping, participating in the keeping or being a party to an arrangement where he may participate in the keeping of animals.  It also prevents him from dealing, transporting or arranging to transport animals.  An application to terminate this order will not be permitted within 10 years.

The Bench further determined Mr Page had failed to transfer ownership of his two horses as directed at sentence on 1 December 2016 and these horses were passed to Trading Standards to deal with as we believe appropriate.

Mr Page also received a 3-year restraining order with regard to the CPS matter.

Prosecution of retailer selling counterfeit tobacco

On 6 September 2018 at Norwich Crown Court, Mr Ako Mohammed Garib of International Food Shop (IFS), Great Yarmouth, pleaded guilty to eleven offences of having counterfeit tobacco products in his possession, custody or control, contrary to Section 92(1)(c) of the Trade Marks Act 1994.

Mr Garib was present when Trading Standards Officers, acting on intelligence, carried out an inspection of IFS on 1 March 2013. The Officers discovered and seized a considerable amount of illegal tobacco and cigarettes, the majority of which was concealed under the counter, and in a store room at the back of the shop.

Following a criminal investigation and decision to prosecute, Mr Garib was summonsed to appear at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court on 15 January 2014. However, this hearing was subsequently adjourned, following the receipt of further information alleging that IFS was continuing to supply illegal tobacco products.

On 14 April 2014 Trading Standards Officers returned to IFS, this time with Norfolk Police and a tobacco detection dog. The shop assistant present identified Mr Garib as the business owner. Officers again found counterfeit hand rolling tobacco and cigarettes, this time in concealments under the stairs, in a storage heater and under kitchen units. On the same day a warrant was obtained to enter the home address of Mr Garib, during which Officers seized 25 packets of cigarettes and a quantity of electronic equipment and correspondence. Mr Garib was arrested and taken to Great Yarmouth Police Station, and then released on bail.

Mr Garib was charged on 19 September 2014 and bailed to appear at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ court on 15 October 2014. However, Mr Garib failed to attend court, and his legal representative advised that Mr Garib had returned to Iraq due to his father’s ill health. The matter was then adjourned until 7 April 2015, but Mr Garib again failed to attend court, following which the Court granted a Trading Standards’ application for an arrest warrant to be issued against Mr Garib.

No further contact was made with Mr Garib until May 2018, when he was discovered to be living in Peterborough. Mr Garib was arrested and subsequently committed to Norwich Crown Court to answer all the outstanding charges against him.

On 4 October 2018 Mr Garib was sentenced for the eleven illegal tobacco offences, and for an additional offence under the Bail Act 1976 (following his failure to attend court on 7 April 2015). Judge Moore ordered that Mr Garib serve the following sentence, to run concurrently:

  • 4 (four) months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and
  • 150 hours community service

The judge commented that this was a public health issue and that the public are entitled to expect such products to be legitimate.

The total value of the tobacco products seized, when equated to legitimate tobacco prices, is estimated to be in excess of £28,000, and there is an ongoing confiscation investigation (under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002) in this case, to determine any criminal benefit accrued by Mr Garib.

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.

Food standards prosecution

On 31 July 2018 at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court, Jack Vonde Meats Ltd was found guilty of offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

 

Jack Vonde Meats Ltd operated retail butchers shops in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston under the names Nicholls Meats and, later, Jack Vonde Meats. On 27 April 2017, Trading Standards officers visited the shops and took a number of samples for analysis. The public analyst found the following:

  • In a sample described as ‘extra lean beef mince’, there was 15% fat. The law says that for beef mince to be described as ‘lean’ it must contain no more than 7% fat.
  • In a sample described as ‘minced steak, 5% fat’, the fat content was over 13%
  • A product described as ‘lamb kebab’ contained mostly turkey and pork, with traces of beef but no lamb
  • The same lamb kebab contained egg, an allergen, the presence of which was not declared as required by law

The company was sentenced to a total fine of £15,000; comprising:

  • £2,500 for each beef mince offence
  • £5,000 for the kebab meat species offence
  • £5,000 for the undeclared allergen offence

The company was also ordered to pay investigation and prosecution costs of £7,258.46 and a victim surcharge of £170. Jack Vonde Meats Ltd went into liquidation on 18 June 2018.

Joint Police/Trading Standards operation to tackle illegal tobacco supply in King's Lynn

A million illegal cigarettes have been seized in King’s Lynn on Thursday 28 June 2018 as part of a joint operation between Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council Trading Standards.

A 37-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the find. The illegal cigarettes* have an estimated street value of £500,000 and were seized in a series of raids from a number of locations in London Road and Norfolk Street.  A large amount of cash was also seized during the operation.  The action follows an investigation targeting the importation and sale of illegal tobacco.

Superintendent Dave Buckley, local policing commander for King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, said:  “This result highlights our commitment to work with partners to target criminal activity, including those involved in organised crime.

Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee said:  “The raids are part of our ongoing campaign, working with partners, to tackle the supply of illegal tobacco in Norfolk.  The people that sell illegal tobacco put our youngest residents at risk because they are selling harmful goods at ‘pocket money’ prices. Sellers of illegal tobacco may be involved in other criminal activity, including organised crime.

“Hopefully these raids will raise awareness about our campaign and we would encourage Norfolk residents to come forward with any information they may have about illegal tobacco sold in their communities.  Norfolk County Council Trading Standards are always ready to respond to any intelligence they receive.”

Residents can provide information by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline (anonymously if you wish) on 03454 04 05 06 or via their online form at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer or by calling 101 (use 999 in an emergency).

*Illegal tobacco is a term used to describe a range of tobacco products, including:

  • Counterfeit versions of popular cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco brands
  • Products legitimately available in other countries smuggled into the UK (so no duty is paid and the products are not marked with the appropriate English health warnings)
  • Products made exclusively for the illicit market

Sentencing for builder

On 7 March 2018 at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court, Mr Philip Adams, previously of Old Catton, but now of Market Harborough, pleaded guilty to two offences of:

  • Failing to undertake work for which he had received payment within a reasonable period of time or to undertake the work at all
  • Failing to carry out work with reasonable care and skill
  • Failing to engage with contracted customers to resolve concerns and complaints, and
  • Failing to return monies he owed to his contracted customers following his failure to undertake the work, contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

The Magistrates accepted the pleas but sent the matter to Norwich Crown Court for sentence as they believed their sentencing powers were insufficient.

The sentencing hearing took place on 27 June 2018 at Norwich Crown Court.  In her speech, the Judge determined the offences committed by Mr Adams had placed intolerable strain and financial stress on both a young family and an elderly lady, and were more serious due to the period of time of offending and the repeated conduct of the defendant.  The Judge advised an immediate custodial sentence was justified and imposed six month and one month sentences for the offences to run concurrently.

The Judge determined Mr Adams will serve three months and remain on licence for a further three months.  The judge also directed a timetable for a Proceeds of Crime investigation which will include compensation orders to be sought for the victims.

The circumstances of the case are that in 2015/2016 Mr Adams, a self-employed builder, contracted with two separate consumers, one a young family and one an elderly lady, to undertake building and home improvement works.  Mr Adams received monies from the two customers totalling just under £20,000.  Mr Adams purported to progress statutory paperwork and progress building works over a time period for both contracts of just under one year.  In both cases Mr Adams failed to complete the paperwork or construction work.  Mr Adams also refused to engage with his customers on non-completion of work or to return monies owed to his victims for his failure to complete the work.  This caused the victims financial and emotional distress and required the consumers to access further monies to employ other traders to complete the originally agreed work.

Prosecution of retailer selling illegal tobacco products

On 30 May 2018 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Romanian Village Shop Limited and Ms Sorina Valeria Abraham, as sole director of the company, were found guilty of the following offences:

i. One offence of having in possession, custody or control in the course of a business counterfeit tobacco products the packaging of which contained a sign identifying or likely to be mistaken for a registered trade mark; contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994
ii. Two 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
iii. One offence of supplying tobacco products which were not in the green packaging required for compliance with the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products 2015.

Ms Abraham became the owner of Romanian Village Shop Limited, trading at 24A Magdalen Street, Norwich in February 2016. Ms Abraham has another trading premises in Ipswich. Trading Standards started to receive complaints in Spring 2017 regarding the supply of illegal tobacco products from the Magdalen Street shop; i.e. cigarettes or hand rolling tobacco not packaged or labelled in accordance with the strict controls required on colouring, layout and health warnings. Trading Standards Officers undertook an inspection of the Magdalen Street shop on 1 June 2017 at which it was noted and confirmed by the store assistant that the shop did not sell legal tobacco products. Illegal tobacco products were seized from stock rooms in the cellar and on the first floor. Advice was left with the shop assistants to give to Ms Abraham on the requirements for legal sale of tobacco products in the UK.

Ms Abraham attended a PACE interview and confirmed she was the owner of the shop and company but she did not visit the store. Although CCTV was present for the store Ms Abraham never viewed it or went there.

The defendant sought legal representation and attended the first hearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on 14 March 2018 at which she pleaded not guilty. The trial was fixed for 30 May 2018. On 30 May 2018 Ms Abraham did not attend. Trading Standards asked for the matter to proceed in her absence. The Magistrates viewed the evidence submitted by Ms Abraham’s legal representative for her non-attendance and agreed to proceed.

The four offences were proved in absence. The Magistrates discussed whether they wished to proceed to sentencing and agreed to proceed. After a short recess to deliberate the Magistrates returned with their determination which included £2,000 fines for the four offences, £1,600 costs awarded to Trading Standards, and a victim surcharge of £180. The Magistrates also granted a forfeiture and destruction order in favour of Trading Standards for the seized items.

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 is not compromised (especially that of young people who may be tempted to try cheap cigarettes).

Animal by-products prosecution

On 17 May 2018 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Mr Nigel Key of Limpenhoe, pleaded guilty to the following offences:

(i) One offence contrary to Regulation 17 of the Animal By-Products Regulations 2013 by his failure to ensure bodies or parts of bodies of animals not slaughtered for human consumption were kept in such a manner as to ensure no animal or bird had access to them;
(ii) One offence contrary to Regulation 17 of the Animal By-Products Regulations 2013 by failing to ensure animal by-products were transported without undue delay under conditions which prevent risks arising to public and animal health.

Mr Key is an experienced farmer who has farmed livestock at his farm for a number of years (over 30). Over this time Mr Key has received significant advice and assistance to understand the requirements for legal disposal of animal by-products.

Following a complaint made to Trading Standards that dead and decomposing animal bodies were on Mr Key’s farm, Trading Standards undertook an inspection with an Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) vet in July 2017. At the farm sheep carcases and bones could be seen on the ground. These animal by-products were accessible to wild animals and birds and not stored correctly for collection and disposal by an approved animal by-product collector.  A box which had an ill-fitting lid contained animal carcases for collection.  The officers inspected the box and identified, due to their state of decomposition, that animal by-products stored in the box had been awaiting collection for longer than three weeks.

The officers inspected a wider area of the farm and identified animal bones and remains spread across adjacent fields of the farm.  These animal bones, remains and carcases pose a significant threat of spread of disease by wild animals.

When sentencing, the magistrates noted that this was not the first time that Mr Key had been before the Court regarding such matters, and fined him £2,000 (£1,000 for each offence).  He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100 and to pay prosecution costs of £1,665.

Sale of illegal tobacco - prosecution

On 5 April 2018 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Mr Hakem Ali of Maxi LT Ltd, trading as Maxi LT, 53 Woodcock Road, Norwich NR3 3TH, pleaded guilty to the following offences:-

(i) one offence of having counterfeit tobacco products in his possession, custody or control, contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994
(ii) one offence of possession with intent to supply tobacco products which did not contain a health warning in English, as required by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

At the sentencing hearing on 17 May 2018 the Court ordered that Mr Ali should receive a community sentence of 200 hours unpaid work.

Following sentencing, the Court set out a timetable for financial investigation of any criminal benefit arising from this case (under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002) - the outcome of which will also inform any costs due to the Council from the legal proceedings.

Mr Ali became the owner of Maxi LT Ltd, trading as Maxi LT in January 2012. Trading Standards started to receive complaints regarding the supply of illegal tobacco products in December 2016 and on 13 December 2016 a test purchase was carried out at the premises and sales of illegal tobacco products were made.

Despite the intervention of Trading Standards, further intelligence received during March 2017 suggested ongoing sales of illegal tobacco from the premises. On 10 March 2017, at a joint inspection with Norfolk Constabulary, using a tobacco detection dog, Trading Standards found in the CCTV room a concealment above the false ceiling over the toilet which contained 349 packets of cigarettes and 18.50g of hand rolling tobacco. The value of the total amount of tobacco products seized amounted to £3,800 which is considered a commercial quantity.

Mr Ali’s alcohol licence for the premises was revoked following a Trading Standards application to Norwich City Council, at a review hearing on 22 September 2017. Mr Ali initially appealed against this decision but on 12 March 2018 at Norwich Magistrates Court the appeal was abandoned and costs were ordered against Mr Ali.

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.

Sentencing of motor parts trader

On 28 February 2018 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Mr Peter Bradley of Norwich pleaded guilty to offences of contravening the requirements of professional diligence contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and fraudulent trading contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, by taking payment for and then failing to supply used motor vehicle engines.

Mr Bradley also asked for two further similar offences to be taken into consideration, covering a subsequent time period and three further consumers.

On 4 April 2018, at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Mr Bradley asked for another two similar offences to be taken into consideration, covering a further time period and one other consumer.

Mr Bradley was sentenced to:

  • Twenty weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and conditional on 10 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement
  • Compensation payable to each of the 15 victims on whose evidence the prosecution was brought, being a total of £6360.00
  • A criminal behaviour order restricting his trading activities, so as to prohibit the direct receipt of up-front payments from consumers and to require certain conduct relating to complaint handling

Mr Bradley was also ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £6834.90.

The circumstances of the case are that Mr Bradley, a sole trader operating through a website as Find an Engine UK, offered to supply used engines to a number of consumers. In each case, an up-front deposit or prepayment was requested, and in some cases further payments were also requested, but no engine was supplied. Over a period of 13 months, over £6000 was taken from the 14 consumers who were witnesses in the case. Mr Bradley had accepted a caution from Trading Standards in relation to similar conduct in September 2016.

Sentencing of local builder for consumer protection offences

On 27 February 2018 at Norwich Crown Court, Mr Alan Blanchflower, a self-employed builder, pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to carry out work within a reasonable time or at all and failing to carry out work with reasonable care and skill, contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

On 28 March 2018, at Norwich Crown Court, Mr Alan Blanchflower was sentenced to:

  • Five months imprisonment for each offence, suspended for 18 months, and
  • 180 hours unpaid community work

The circumstances of the first offence are that Mr Blanchflower contracted with a couple to build an extension. Despite being paid over £85,000 for the work, Mr Blanchflower did not complete the build for more than 6 months, and the work he did undertake was of poor workmanship and did not comply with building regulations. As a result the couple had to contract with another builder and pay £25,000 to have the extension completed.

The circumstances of the second offence are that Mr Blanchflower contracted with another couple, to build a two story extension. Despite being paid over £100,000 for the work, Mr Blanchflower did not complete the build for more than 6 months, and the work he did undertake was of poor workmanship and did not comply with building regulations. As a result the couple had to contract with another builder and pay £60,000 to have the extension completed. The victims and their children (including their recently born 3rd child) intended to live in a caravan on site commencing in March 2016 whilst the planned work was completed. However they were forced to continue to live in the caravan throughout 2017, whilst the remedial work and build were concluded.

Victim Impact Statements were read out on behalf of both victims in Court and his Honour Judge Shaw commended Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Officers for their diligent investigation of these matters.

Following sentencing, Judge Shaw set out a timetable for financial investigation of any criminal benefit arising from this case (under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002) -
the outcome of which will also inform any compensation for victims or costs due to the Council from the legal proceedings.

Mr Blanchflower had been previously sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment for a very similar offence in October 2017. The circumstances of that case were that Mr Blanchflower contracted with a couple, both in their mid-seventies, to build an extension, to improve their living arrangements. Despite being paid over £45,000 for the work, Mr Blanchflower did not complete the build in more than half a year and the work he did undertake was of poor workmanship and did not comply with building regulations. As a result the couple had to contract with another builder and pay over £166,000 to have Mr Blanchflower’s extension demolished and rebuilt.

The Trading Standards Service recommends that people should always use a Norfolk Trusted Trader or a trader who has been personally recommended to them by friends or family who have had similar work done. Consumers can find a Norfolk Trusted Trader by visiting www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader or by calling 0344 800 8020.

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

Website trader pleaded guilty to offences

On 28 February 2018 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Mr Peter Bradley of Norwich, pleaded guilty to offences of contravening the requirements of professional diligence contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and fraudulent trading contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, by taking payment for and then failing to supply used motor vehicle engines.

The circumstances of the case are that Mr Bradley, a sole trader operating through a website as Find an Engine UK, offered to supply used engines to a number of consumers.  In each case, an up-front deposit or prepayment was requested, and in some cases further payments were also requested, but no engines were supplied.  Over a period of 11 months, nearly £5,000 was taken from the 11 consumers who were witnesses in the case.

At the hearing, Mr Bradley also asked for two further similar offences to be taken into consideration, covering a subsequent time period and three further consumers.

The case was adjourned to Wednesday 4 April 2018 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.

Builder pleads guilty to two offences

On 27 February 2018 at Norwich Crown Court, Mr Alan Blanchflower, previously of Attleborough but now of Bintree, pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to carry out work within a reasonable time or at all and failing to carry out work with reasonable care and skill, contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.  This follows on from a previous conviction and sentencing on 12 October 2017, when Mr Blanchflower was sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment for a very similar offence.

The circumstances of the first offence are that Mr Blanchflower, a self-employed builder, agreed with a couple to build an extension.  Despite being paid over £85,000 for the work, Mr Blanchflower did not complete the build for more than six months, and the work done was of poor workmanship and did not comply with building regulations.  As a result the couple had to contract with another builder and pay £25,000 to have the extension completed.

The circumstances of the second offence are that Mr Blanchflower agreed with another couple to build a two story extension.  Despite being paid over £100,000 for the work, Mr Blanchflower did not complete the build for more than six months, and the work he did undertake was of poor workmanship and did not comply with building regulations.  As a result the couple had to contract with another builder and pay £60,000 to have the extension completed.  The victims and their children (including their recently born third child) intended to live in a caravan on site commencing in March 2016 whilst the planned work was completed.  However they were forced to continue to live in the caravan throughout 2017, whilst the remedial work and build were concluded.

The matter was adjourned to 28 March 2018 for sentencing.

Sentencing for seller of illegal tobacco

On 24 January 2018, at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ court Ms Joana Laurusonyte pleaded guilty to three offences as follows:

  1. One offence of having in her possession, custody or control in the course of a business counterfeit tobacco products the packaging of which contained a sign identifying or likely to be mistaken for a registered trade mark; contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994.
  2. Two 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.

Sentencing was adjourned to 16 February 2018 at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ court. At the hearing, the Bench:

  • Fined Ms Laurusonyte £425,
  • Set a victim surcharge of £43, and
  • Awarded the Trading Standards Service costs of £750

A Destruction Order was also granted to Trading Standards for the illegal tobacco products seized.

This prosecution followed receipt of complaints in 2016 that illegal tobacco products were being supplied and sold from Lynn Express Limited, a limited company for which Ms Laurusonyte is the sold director. A joint inspection was undertaken with Norfolk Constabulary and a tobacco detection dog on 12 January 2017. At that inspection illegal tobacco products were found in a sophisticated concealment built into the floor of the premises. The tobacco products were seized and a formal investigation into the business was opened. The total amount of tobacco products seized amounted to £5,281.90 which was considered a commercial quantity.

In addition to this prosecution, a licence, enabling the store to sell alcohol, was revoked on 8 February 2017, following a Trading Standards application to review the licence to the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk who are the licensing authority. Although an appeal was commenced the licence was surrendered on 27 April 2017, one day before the appeal hearing, as court directions had not been complied with.

Application to review premises licence and designated premises supervisor

On Monday 8 January 2018, Norwich City Council heard an application made by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards to review the premises licence for Bury’s Newsagents, 159-161 Aylsham Road, Norwich.

Following the presentation from Trading Standards as applicants, Norwich City Council revoked the Premises Licence for the premises in their determination at the conclusion of the review hearing.

This application was made by Norfolk Trading Standards following our seizures of smuggled tobacco products located at the store on two occasions when we inspected the store with Norfolk Constabulary.  The application to review the premises licence was supported by Norfolk Constabulary who presented their further concerns at the hearing.  Some of the tobacco products seized were counterfeit, none of the tobacco products seized carried the required combined health warnings in English (an offence under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016), and none of the tobacco products were packaged according to the new requirements under the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015.  The haul was confirmed to be worth almost £2,100 when equated to legitimate tobacco prices for the amount seized.  The matter is currently subject to a criminal investigation.

These reviews form part of a range of planned illegal tobacco interventions by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Service to prevent crime and disorder by interrupting the sale of illegal goods.  Our inventions are also intended to ensure the health of consumers is not compromised, especially that of vulnerable young consumers who may be tempted to try cheap cigarettes

Application to review premises licence and designated premises supervisor

On Friday 5 January 2018, Great Yarmouth Borough Council heard an application made by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards to review the premises licence for Yarmouth Food and Wine trading as King Street Food and Wine.  A Premises Licence is required for a business to legally sell alcohol.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council revoked the Premises Licence for the premises in their determination at the conclusion of the review hearing.

This application was made by Norfolk Trading Standards following our seizures of smuggled tobacco products located at the store on two occasions when we inspected the store with Norfolk Constabulary.  The application to review the premises licence was supported by Norfolk Constabulary who presented their further concerns at the hearing and also supporting evidence from Great Yarmouth Borough Council Environmental Health Department.  Some of the tobacco products seized were counterfeit, none of the tobacco products seized carried the required combined health warnings in English (an offence under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016), and none of the tobacco products were packaged according to the new requirements under the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015.  The haul was confirmed to be worth almost £1,900 when equated to legitimate tobacco prices for the amount seized.  The matter is currently subject to a criminal investigation.

Builder prosecuted

On 3 February 2017 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Mr Anthony Bamford, previously of Cromer, pleaded not guilty to two offences contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 and was committed to the Crown Court for trial. On 8 November 2017 at Norwich Crown Court Mr Bamford pleaded guilty to an alternate offence of engaging in a commercial practice contravening the requirements of professional diligence contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The circumstances of the case are that Mr Bamford, a self-employed builder, contracted with a vulnerable man who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome to renovate his home ahead of sale (as he was to reside with his mother so as to act as her carer).  Despite being paid over £35,000 for the work, Mr Bamford did not complete the build and the work he did undertake was of poor workmanship and did not comply with building regulations.  As a result the victim, who could not afford to have any remedial action undertaken, had to sell the property at a reduced price.

On 4 January 2018 Mr Bamford appeared at Norwich Crown Court and was sentenced to:

  • Four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and
  • 120 hours work in the community

Unfortunately no compensation for the victim or costs could be awarded by the court due to Mr Bamford having no funds.

Sentencing for seller of illegal tobacco

On 23 November 2017, at Norwich Crown Court, Mr Sarhad Salari was sentenced to a further six offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

Mr Salari had previously pleaded guilty at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on 6 September 2017 as follows:

  • Three offences of aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the codefendants Lynn Express Limited and Joana Laurusonyte to have in their possession, custody or control in the course of a business counterfeit tobacco products which packaging contained a sign identifying or likely to be mistaken for a registered trade mark contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994
  • Three offences of aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the codefendants Lynn Express Limited and Joana Laurusonyte to supply tobacco products which did not contain a combined health warning in English as required by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

At the sentencing hearing Judge Holt ordered that Mr Salari serve a further six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and that each offence should align with sentencing for similar matters in August this year.  As Mr Salari has been cooperating well with his existing 300 hours community service Judge Holt felt there would be no merit in awarding any further community service for these additional offences.

Judge Holt also granted a forfeiture order for the illegal tobacco products seized from the defendants in favour of Trading Standards.  This was the second investigation which involved Mr Salari receiving significant guidance and assistance for the legal sale of tobacco products from both his Kubus store in Kings Lynn (as early as 2013), and then at Lynn Express Limited during 2016.  Mr Salari had also received a written warning in April 2015.  Following complaints received by Trading Standards that Lynn Express Limited was supplying and selling illicit tobacco products, a test purchase of illegal cigarettes was carried out in December 2016, and an inspection with Norfolk Constabulary, and a tobacco detection dog was made on 12 January 2017.  At that joint inspection on 12 January 2017 illegal tobacco products were found in a sophisticated concealment built into the floor of the premises. The tobacco products were seized and a formal investigation was opened into the business.  The total amount of tobacco products seized amounted to £5,281.90 which was considered a commercial quantity.  In addition, Trading Standards were concerned that Mr Salari had extended his alleged offending from one premises to another store in King’s Lynn.

In addition to this prosecution, the licences, enabling the store to sell alcohol were revoked on 8 February 2017, following a Trading Standards application to review the licences to the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk who are the licensing authority.  Mr Salari appealed to the Magistrates’ Court against this decision but decided to surrender his licences on 27 April 2017, one day before the appeal hearing; having not complied with court directions.

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