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Caerphilly Counterfeit Cigarette Seller avoids Jail

Posted on : 22 Dec 2017

Caerphilly Counterfeit Cigarette Seller avoids Jail
Caerphilly Counterfeit Cigarette Seller avoids Jail

56 year old Mark Williams of Coed Pwll, Caerphilly was given a suspended prison sentence at Newport Magistrates Court on 15 December for being found in possession for supply of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco, which also were not marked with the required health warnings.  Williams pleaded guilty to two charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and four charges under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

The prosecution was taken by Caerphilly County Borough Council Trading Standards who received a complaint in 2016 that a male who used a mobility scooter, was selling cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco outside a café in Caerphilly town centre. Enquiries indicated that this person was Williams and Trading Standards raided his home in early 2017, recovering over 3,000 cigarettes and almost 3Kg of hand rolling tobacco, along with evidence that proved that Williams was selling the tobacco products.

All of the cigarettes were counterfeit, and the majority of the tobacco. None of the packaging of the cigarettes or tobacco complied with the 2016 Regulations in that they were not marked with the specified health warnings or other information required, such as details on how to get help to quit smoking.

Prior to sentencing Williams, the Chair of the Magistrates hearing the case stated  " these offences are so serious that only custody can be justified. We believe it was a relatively large scale supply sold openly in a public area outside a coffee shop". She went on to sentence Williams to 12 weeks in prison for the Trade Marks offences and 8 weeks for the Tobacco labelling offences, to run concurrently, but also suspended for 12 months.  Williams was also ordered to pay costs to the Council of £1,687.35 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Cllr. Eluned Stenner, Cabinet Member for Environment & Public Protection said: “I am pleased that once again Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Trading Standards team have secured a successful prosecution. Counterfeit goods are a danger to consumers, there is no control over the quality of the product, often meaning they are produced cheaply and can even be more addictive. Selling illegal goods in such away also means there is no control in place to prevent the sale of age restricted products to children.”

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