Wembley shop keeper fined for selling cigarettes to an underage schoolgirl

Court hears he also failed to display tobacco wrnings and mandatory details of business as required by law

A Wembley shop owner has been ordered to pay a total of �750 after he admitted selling cigarettes to an underage schoolgirl.

Fahid Bala, 23, of Compton Avenue, failed to challenge the 14-year-old after she carried out a sting at Wembley Halal Meat, in High Road, Wembley, on behalf of Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Service (BHTSS).

Brent Magistrates Court heard the teenager, who was with a 14-year-old boy, was sold the �2.99 packet despite it being against the law to sell tobacco products to anyone under 18.

Bala, whose shop had only been selling cigarettes for two months, also admitted failing to display a mandatory tobacco warning and a notice with his name as the business owner and an address where documents could be served on him as required by the Companies Act 2006.

Last week, he was fined �500 and ordered to pay �250 court costs.

Bill Bilon, head of BHTSS, said: “This defendant admitted in interview that he began to sell cigarettes because he was situated adjacent to a bus stop where lots of people would come in and ask him for cigarettes.

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“He knew that lots of school children used this bus stop yet failed to ask our child volunteers for ID which is totally unacceptable.”