Newsagent caught in undercover cigarette sting 17.11.11
A newsagent has had to pay out hundreds of pounds after being caught selling cigarettes to children during an undercover sting.
Peter Capone, who runs The Railway Kiosk at Wallington station, admitted selling a packet of 10 Benson and Hedges cigarettes to a 16-year-old girl, who was accompanied by a 15-year-old boy.
Magistrates heard he was caught when trading standards officers from Sutton Council teamed up with the child volunteers to monitor the sale of age restricted goods to under-18s.
The court heard Mr Capone sold the cigarettes without questioning the children's age or asking for any identification.
Councillor Simon Wales, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Communities, Transport and Voluntary Sector, said: "We are determined to do everything possible to protect the health and safety of our young people and will prosecute retailers who disregard the law.
"The court has handed down a significant fine which hopefully sends out a clear message to all tobacco retailers that the illegal sale of cigarettes to children will not be tolerated."
Mr Capone was fined £233 and ordered to pay £350 costs to Sutton Council's business regulation service after pleading guilty to an offence under the Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991.
The operation was part of the council's ongoing campaign to crack down on underage sales.
Cllr Wales added: "While we recognise that the majority of retailers are responsible, we will come down hard on those who flout the laws.
"There are numerous simple procedures businesses can adopt to prevent sales of age restricted goods from taking place.
"I would encourage any local business that sells tobacco products, alcohol, lottery tickets or any other age restricted goods to be vigilant and to always ask for identification when there is suspicion that someone may be underage."
Last updated: Monday, 19 December 2011