News item

Burger seller grilled for side order of illegal cigarettes

A trader in Romford has been fined nearly £2,000 after Havering Council received complaints that children were being sold cigarettes from a burger van.

Mrs Karen Pardon (Heather Gardens, Romford) of K & P Foods, was fined £250 per offence, ordered to pay £1,000 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £75, a total of £1,825 at Barkingside Magistrates Court on 11 July.

Mrs Pardon pleaded guilty to three offences, one for the sale of a tobacco product to an underage person, and two in relation to the sale and possession of cigarettes that failed to comply with Regulations made under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. 

Following complaints about cigarettes being sold to children from the burger van, Havering Council carried out a test purchase in December last year. 

The volunteers asked the seller for a packet of cigarettes and a cup of tea. She was provided with a cup of tea and a packet of 20 branded cigarettes without being asked her age or for identification. 

The van was searched and a total of 12,760 foreign cigarettes were found. The packets did not have any UK health warnings on them and were seized by the Council trading standards officers.

Councillor Osman Dervish, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, said:

“We are very fortunate that many of our retailers are responsible and this type of occurrence is the exception to the norm in our borough. However, when something like this does happen, rest assured that we will take action.

“I am very pleased that this person has been brought to justice and that we have stopped them selling cigarettes to children.”

A sample of the cigarettes seized were not for legal sale in the UK as they did not have a ‘UK duty paid’ mark on them. The packets also did not have a UK health warning on them. The court ordered all of the seized cigarettes to be destroyed.

Notes to editors

Mrs Pardon pleaded guilty to three offences, one for the sale of a tobacco product to an underage person, contrary to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, and two in relation to the sale/possession of cigarettes that failed to comply with the Tobacco Products (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale) (Safety) Regulations 2002 made under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

DATE: 18 July 2014