Fireworks trader fined heavily for failing to shut during lockdown


Retailer Luke Vardy has been heavily fined after failing to shut down his 'Fireworks4Sale' shops during lockdown. - Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/PA Images

A retailer who refused to shut his shops during lockdown has been fined £4,190 after being found in breach of Covid-19 regulations.

Luke Vardy kept two branches of his ‘Fireworks4Sale’ shop open despite being instructed to close on account of not classified as essential retail.

The offences took place in November last year at premises in the Parade, Colchester Road and Victoria Road, Romford. 

Initially the enforcement team at Havering Council offered guidance to Vardy, before issuing Fixed Penalty Notices in an effort to force compliance. 

Neither approach worked, culminating in the retailer being charged with two counts of Covid breaches.

Vardy pleaded guilty to both offences, and was sentenced at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday (October 5).

The sizeable fine was spread across the two offences - one pertaining to each store - with Vardy's guilty pleas taken into consideration.

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Havering's cabinet member of enforcement, Viddy Persaud, said: “This businessman actively breached vital Covid-19 restrictions that were put in place to keep people safe from this awful virus.

"Mr Vardy wilfully put his customers and the people of Havering at risk by staying open.

“I’m glad that we have been able to bring him to justice for blatantly ignoring the rules. I hope this serves as a warning to other individuals who may overlook safety in order to turn a profit.”