[A] Cleator Moor man has been convicted after pleading guilty to selling illegal tobacco from his home, following an investigation by Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
61-year-old William Newton of 7 Greenthwaite, Cleator Moor was charged with being in possession of counterfeit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco with intent to sell.
Following intelligence received, Trading Standards Officers visited Mr Newton’s home and seized a large quantity of counterfeit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco.
Appearing on Tuesday 6 March at West Cumbria Magistrates Court, Mr. Newton was given an eight week curfew and ordered to and pay £915 towards prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge. The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the counterfeit goods.
Councillor Celia Tibble, cabinet member for Trading Standards, said: “These are serious criminal offences. Illegal sales of tobacco in Cumbria have a huge impact on people’s health. When these counterfeit products are sold, at considerably below the price of the legal product, they undermine the efforts to reduce the prevalence of smoking. They also encourage people who want to quit to maintain their habit.
“We will not tolerate the illegal sales of tobacco and will continue to take firm action to stop this type of activity by using our enforcement powers against those we catch.
“Our officers routinely act on intelligence we receive, as they did in this case, so I would encourage consumers to continue to report those involved in selling illicit tobacco because their valuable information can significantly aid our investigations.”
Colin Cox, Director of Public Health at Cumbria County Council, said: “Young people are particularly at risk from the illegal trade in selling counterfeit tobacco products. I would encourage anyone with information about illegal tobacco sellers to report them to Trading Standards or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”