Local Trader given suspended prison sentence for sale of illicit vapes
A local Trader has been handed an eight-month custodial sentence (suspended for 18 months) following the sale of illicit vapes at a business within the city centre.
Hira Singh, of Baxter Gate, pleaded guilty to the offences at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court following an investigation by City of Doncaster Council’s Trading Standards team, into reports that oversized vapes were being sold from the Four Seasons Convenience Store within the city centre. He was convicted of nine counts of possession for supply of unlawful e-cigarettes, one count of supplying unlawful e-cigarettes and one trademark offence.
Singh was also ordered to pay £1,831.68 in costs and victim surcharge, and to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. His company, Clock Corner Ltd, was also prosecuted and is itself required to pay £1,400 in fines and victim surcharge.
In October 2022, Singh’s shop was visited by an undercover test purchase operative. The operative managed to buy two oversized vapes, and a full inspection of the premise immediately followed.
Following this inspection, a large stock of oversized devices were seized as well as vapes that mimicked popular trade names in the confectionary and soft drinks business, breaching Trade Mark legislation.
The court heard that Singh had earlier been visited by Trading Standards and warned about his obligations as a retailer. This included a formal interview where he was told in clear terms that he needed to show diligence when purchasing goods and stop selling illegal products. Less than a month later, Singh sold illicit vapes to the test purchase operative.
Vape products that are over 2ml in capacity are illegal and can be particularly dangerous to those who use them. The Doncaster Tobacco Alliance is working hard to tackle public health concerns around smoking and vaping.
Dr Victor Joseph, Public Health Consultant and Chair of the Tobacco Alliance said: “Vaping is not risk free. Although Nicotine Inhaling Products have an important role to play in helping adults stop smoking, these devices should not be used by individuals who have never smoked, especially where the device is illegal and the amount and strength of nicotine is unknown. Nicotine is addictive, and the amount and strength in compliant devices is controlled for a reason.”
Cllr Joe Blackham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Enforcement at City of Doncaster Council, said: “Illicit trade such as this damages legitimate businesses that comply with the law and complying with the law is an absolute requirement. The Council will therefore continue its robust approach and will pursue those who flout the law until we achieve 100% compliance”.
If you want to report a trader directly to Trading Standards, who you believe is selling illicit: vaping products; tobacco products; or alcohol you can report them via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 080 8223 1133.
- Category: Crime, anti-social behaviour & nuisance