A market trader from Hove has been landed with a bill for more than £2,000 after being caught selling illicit tobacco.
East Sussex County Council said: “A Hove man caught selling illegal tobacco from a market stall has been sentenced to a 12-month community order and ordered to pay more than £2000 in fines and costs.
“Howard Bull, of Goldstone Crescent, Hove, pleaded guilty to the possession or supply of illegal tobacco and to a further trademarks offence for being in possession of counterfeit tobacco, when he appeared at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 20 October.
“The 46-year-old was caught with £1,825 worth of hand rolling tobacco and cigarettes during an East Sussex Trading Standards inspection at Hailsham Market in 2019, following a tip-off from a member of the public.
“He was ordered to pay fines of £1,320, a victim surcharge of £132 and prosecution costs of £704.50 for possessing the illegal tobacco.
“Bull was also sentenced to a 12-month community order with 160 hours of unpaid work in respect of the trademarks offence.
“A destruction order was made for the tobacco seized.”
Another man had also been caught and prosecuted for selling illicit tobacco at the same market, the council said.
East Sussex Trading Standards team manager Richard Strawson said: “This second successful prosecution by our trading standards team should send out a warning to anyone involved in this illegal activity.
“We take the supply of illegal tobacco very seriously and will do everything in our power to tackle this problem and protect our residents.
“Both the recent prosecutions were the result of tip-offs from members of the public, who attended one of our public roadshows which aim to raise awareness of the issue and give the public the opportunity to share intelligence about the sale of such goods.
“We urge residents to play their part and help us keep these products off the streets by continuing to report anything suspicious.
“Anyone with information about illegal tobacco sales is urged to report it by calling the illegal tobacco helpline on 0300 999 6999 or online at www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk.”
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