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Southwark Council prosecutes publican for illegal cigarettes sale

Published Friday, 05 October 2012

Illegal cache

A Southwark publican has been fined around £3,300 after pleading guilty to selling illegal cigarettes from his premises.

On 25 January 2012 Southwark Council’s trading standards officers, working with police and council licensing officers, raided the Good Intent public house on East Street, Walworth.

Patrick Ryan, the designated premises supervisor (DPS) for the pub, was subsequently found to be selling foreign cigarettes on the premises and also breaking the law by allowing people to smoke in the pub.

Mr Ryan, aged 50, was charged with six counts of having in his possession to supply cigarettes with incorrect health warnings – as packaging was in a foreign language and some didn't haven't picture warnings, which is a breach of the Tobacco Products (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale)(Safety) Regulations 2002 and an offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

He was also charged with one count of failing to stop a person who was smoking in a public place, which is an offence under the Health Act 2006.

On Friday 21 September Mr Ryan pleaded guilty for all seven counts. On Tuesday 25 September he appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court for sentencing. On summary conviction he was given a £300 fine for each count. He was also ordered to pay the full costs of £1,187 to the Council, bringing his total fine to £3,302.

Councillor Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for finance, resources and community safety, said: "Foreign cigarettes do not have the level of health warnings that are required under our laws and have the potential to be even more of a health risk than legal cigarettes. As all cigarettes carry severe health risks, it is vital that warning labels should be clear and recognisable.

"This prosecution should be taken as a warning that Southwark Council does take this matter seriously and will prosecute anyone found selling foreign cigarettes."

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