23 January 2019

A Northampton business and one of its directors have been fined after pleading guilty to selling cigarettes to someone who was underage.

Following a test purchase operation by Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards, Eshani Ltd and Arundhati Patel appeared before Northampton Magistrates on 22 January.

Both the company and Patel admitted selling a packet of 20 Mayfair kingsize cigarettes to a 16-year-old on 31 May, 2018 at the KP News and Off Licence in Weedon Road, Northampton.

Following a previous sale of cigarettes to a person under the age of 18 in 2016, Patel had signed an Enterprise Act undertaking not to sell cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 in the future.

Yesterday, Eshani Ltd was fined £1,000 while Patel as a director was fined £500. Full prosecution costs were awarded and a £150 victim surcharge was ordered to be paid.

Eight visits were carried out that day with two premises selling to the underage volunteer.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said:


“This case demonstrates that our Trading Standards team will not hesitate to take action if they suspect a business of selling age-restricted products to children, and we will continue to carry out checks and test purchases whenever we receive complaints and intelligence about underage sales.
“Both businesses and the individual seller can be prosecuted for selling and it’s essential that they must ask for valid proof of age from young people.
“We recommend that they at least challenge anyone who looks under 21, and we are aware that many shops challenge anyone who looks under 25.”

Members of the public who have information about the sale of age restricted products to children should call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.
Any business that would like further advice can contact Northamptonshire Trading Standards.