A former shopkeeper who sold cigarettes to a 15-year-old girl has been prosecuted and fined, as Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Trading Standards team continues its work to deter the irresponsible sale of age restricted products.
The offence occurred during one of the regular and ongoing test purchase operations that are delivered by Trading Standards officers across the county borough.
Using volunteers who have full consent from their parents, the officers work to ensure shops and businesses are upholding the law by only selling age-restricted products, such as cigarettes and alcohol, to those old enough to buy them.
The consumption of alcohol and cigarettes by those who are underage remain a top concern for communities in Rhondda Cynon Taf, especially because of the association with health issues and anti-social behaviour.
Businesses play a key part in protecting young people and the wider community, by ensuring managers and all staff are all aware of the law and uphold it, ensuring only those who are old enough to purchase and consume such goods are able to buy them.
The latest case relates to a test purchase operation at Tynybryn Stores, Tynybryn Road, Tonyrefail, on October 31 last year, where Debbie Dalton sold a pack of 10 cigarettes to a 15-year-old girl.
She was charged with an offence under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, as amended by the Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991 and pleaded guilty by letter on April 25 to Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court.
She told the court she had never knowingly sold to anyone under the age of 18 before and explained how she had now moved to Cornwall. She was fined £250 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £250.
David Jones, Head of Community Protection at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, explained: “The work of our Trading Standards officers focuses on protecting residents and also those in business who strive to operate within the law.
“It is vital that those who own or work in shops where age-restricted goods, such as cigarettes and alcohol are sold work with us to ensure the underage do not get access to items that have serious implications for their health and can also induce unwelcome behaviour that affects the wider community.”