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by Sam Gelder
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
A burger seller has been grilled for dishing out side orders of illegal cigarettes from her van.
Karen Pardon, of Heather Gardens, Romford, was handed a bill of £1,825 for the offences when she appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday last week.
After complaints were made about cigarettes being sold to children from her burger van, Havering Council carried out a test purchase in December.
Volunteers asked Pardon, of K&P Foods, for a packet of cigarettes and a cup of tea - and were provided with the brew and a packet of 20 without being asked for identification.
The van was subsequently 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 council trading standards officers.
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.
She was fined £250 per offence, ordered to pay £1,000 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £75.
Cllr 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.”
The court ordered all of the seized cigarettes to be destroyed.