Shop banned from selling any tobacco

Preston Magistrates court
Preston Magistrates court
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A shop has become the first in Lancashire to be made the subject of a court order banning it from selling tobacco for a year.

Ladybrook Computing Limited, which trades as the News Express newsagent on Friargate, Preston, has been slapped with a 12 month restricted premises order – a civil power that can be used against shops causing concern to the authorities.

No representatives from the firm attended the hearing.

But District Judge Jane Goodwin, sitting at Preston Magistrates’ Court, said she would proceed in their absence and added: “I’m satisfied it is in the interests of justice to do so”.

The convenience store was rapped after Trading Standards chiefs found it was selling tobacco to children last June.

The store got a £1,000 fine plus £100 costs and a £100 victim surcharge in January over those offences, in which its shop assistant, Waqas Hussain, 24, was also convicted.

The latest hearing, at Preston Magistrates’ Court, was told the conviction triggered an investigation into the shop’s history, which revealed it had also been caught selling booze to children in January and October 2014 during test purchasing exercises.

Prosecuting for Lancashire Trading Standards, Nick McNamara said its history led to the council’s application for a restricted premises order under the Children and Young Person’s Act 1933.

It is the first time Lancashire County Council has applied for an order since the power was introduced in 2010.

An application can be brought in circumstances where a person is convicted of selling tobacco products to a person under 18 and has committed two like offences in a previous two year period.