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Buxton retailer fined for selling knife and illicit vape to underage person

Published: 20 May 2024

A Buxton business has been fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs after admitting charges of selling a knife to an underaged person, for selling an electronic cigarette (vape) to an underage person and possession for supply of vapes that do not comply with UK legislation.

The successful prosecution was brought by our Trading Standards following an investigation by officers on the team.

Maryam Rahman, company director of Buxton Mega Pound Store Limited, trading as Buxton Bargains, 34 Spring Gardens, Buxton, appeared before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates on Friday (17 May) for sentencing following entering guilty pleas to charges of selling a set of 3 kitchen knives and a disposable electronic cigarette (vape) to an underage person. 

The business faced further charges of possession for supply of vapes that did not comply with UK legislation with respect to volume of nicotine liquid and labelling.

The court heard that test purchase exercises were carried out by trading standards officers on separate occasions in May and June 2023 during which sales of knives and a vape were made to a volunteer who was under 18 years of age. No age or ID checks were carried out at time of the sales.

Further visits to the business led to the discovery of non-compliant vapes at the shop.  This was despite comprehensive advice and guidance from trading standards officers being provided to the business on underage sales and supply of vapes.

In passing sentence, Judge Flint said that vapes were `all the rage at the moment’ with lots of shops selling them in different colours and flavours, but it was forgotten or ignored that vapes were tightly regulated products due to containing nicotine, and the regulations made sure that retailers only sell vapes which are legal.

He said:

“It seems that your shop sold vapes without any regard to the regulations.”

He added that the problem with selling one without following the regulations is that it creates a danger to the public, and that the shop had a number of problems, having sold vapes to under 18s without its original packaging and with too much nicotine in the tank, along with the `plainly serious offence’ of selling a knife to an under 18.

Our Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said:

“There has been a worrying increase in incidents of crime involving knives and young people, and we have also seen an influx of illicit vaping products being supplied to children. This business was guilty of supplying both knives and vapes to under 18s.

“The law is clear. Knives and vapes must not be sold to people under 18 years. Retailers must check photo ID for proof of age of any customer of age-restricted products who appears to be underage.

“The sentence handed down by the court, following this successful prosecution brought by our Trading Standards team, should be a deterrent and warning to suppliers of age-restricted items like knives, vapes and tobacco. We must do all we can to keep people safe.”

People wanting to report any suspicions of the sale of age restricted products to young people should report them to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on tel: 0808 2231133 or Crimestoppers on tel: 0800 555111.