Photo: Google

A convenience store in Morley, Leeds is stripped of its alcohol licence after repeatedly found selling illegal tobacco from the premises.

A hearing at Leeds Civic Hall on 8 January, following an application for review by West Yorkshire Trading Standards, decided to revoke the licence of Fountain Food & Wines on Fountain Street for the persistent sale of illegal tobacco.

The licensee Mr Mahmood failed to attend the hearing but has 21 days to appeal the decision.

Trading Standards officials have done six test purchases and three inspections at the store over the course of 10 months. On each occasion illegal tobacco has been sold or discovered at the premises.

Undercover officers got a pack of 20 cigarettes for £4 from the shop, whereas a genuine product would usually retail at over £10.

Photo: West Yorkshire Joint Services

The inspections with the assistance of tobacco detection dogs found cigarettes hidden behind stock on shelves and soft drinks cans in fridges as well as in the rear yard of the building.

“We want to see health improvement in this county and with poor and disadvantageous communities and young people often the target of this cheap tobacco, it does not encourage people to quit,” said Councillor Pauline Grahame, Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards.

“Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in these illegal products. I would encourage the public to continue reporting this type of activity to the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 0000.”