Store owner hit with almost £6,000 bill for selling vapes to minors
The owner of a Cleobury Mortimer shop has been ordered to pay a total of £5,944 in fines and costs after being convicted of selling a nicotine vape product to a minor under the legal age of 18.
R P Enterprises Ltd, of Penn Road, Wolverhampton, which runs the Select and Save store in Church Street, Cleobury Mortimer, was convicted at Telford Magistrates Court on February 5 after being prosecuted by Shropshire Council.
The council’s trading standards team had conducted an underage sales exercise with two volunteers at the store in June 2023 after receiving intelligence that the premises was selling vapes to children under the age of 18.
Of the six premises subjected to a test purchase on the day, only the Select and Save store sold a disposable vape to the volunteers.
The prosecution was brought as the business was unable to provide sufficient evidence of procedures it had taken to prevent the future sales of age restricted products to minors.
After magistrates found the store owner guilty, the company was ordered to pay a fine of £2,500, costs of £2,444 and a victim surcharge of £1,000.
Chris Schofield, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for planning and regulatory services, said: “This case is a reminder to any business selling age-restricted products of their responsibilities to prevent sales to minors, such as ‘Challenge 25′, requesting photo ID and ensuring all staff receive adequate training.
“We want to make sure Shropshire is a strong, safe and attractive place for people, and our trading standards team will continue to work to ensure laws on age related products are complied with.
“This kind of work by trading standards helps prevent under 18s from accessing age-restricted products from businesses who flout the law.”
Any person or business who suspects a business may be selling vapes or other age-restricted products to minors, can report this to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133, Information can be provided anonymously and will be shared with trading standards in line with the council’s information governance policies.