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    Hefty fines for Liverpool businesses selling vapes to u18s

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    By David Humphreys, Local Democracy Reporter

    Hefty fines have been slapped on two Liverpool businesses for selling vapes to under 18s.

    Liverpool Council’s environmental health team secured prosecutions against two men whose stores were found to be selling products to young people. A total of three offences were considered by Liverpool Magistrates Court earlier this week.

    As a result, the proprietors have been hit with major financial penalties.

    Steve Kelly, 41, of Swanside Avenue, entered a guilty plea by post to two offences of selling to minors at his store Fuel Vapours on East Prescot Road, Knotty Ash. During an initial test purchase, Kelly was not present but accepted responsibility as owner of the business.

    However, on a second occasion two weeks later, Kelly carried out the sale himself. While District Judge Wendy Lloyd offered credit for a guilty plea, the time between sales was seen as an aggravating factor.

    Judge Lloyd said it was a “very serious” offence and there had been no evidence of due diligence.

    Syed Ali, of Priory Road, also entered a guilty plea ahead of the hearing. The 36-year-old said he had only been working at the Pound Buster store on Broadway “for a matter of days” at the time of the incident and had not received formal training.

    Ali, 36, accepted he was aware ID should have been requested. Judge Lloyd said Ali was paying “lip service” to the volunteer by requesting his age but failing to carry out a formal ID check.

    Kelly was fined £1,000 for his two offences, with a surcharge of £400 and costs of £413. He was ordered to pay the total £1,813 within 28 days.

    Ali was fined £200 with an £80 surcharge and £200 costs, awarded based on his limited means.

    Cllr Harry Doyle, Liverpool Council cabinet member for public health, said: “These latest prosecutions highlight the city council’s tough stance when it comes to cracking down on those outlets which sell vapes to those who are underage. The long-term effects of vaping remains unknown and we are committed to doing everything we can to limit the illegal sale of the product.

    “I’d like to congratulate our dedicated environmental health team on the latest successful court hearings and I hope it sends out a strong message to other businesses that we will not tolerate this activity in Liverpool.”

    (Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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