A shopkeeper who claimed he was unaware he was breaking the law by selling counterfeit cigarettes and packets without health warnings has been left more than £1,000 worse off following an appearance at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court.
Hemen Hussain, 36, of Chislehurst Place, Little Horton, pleaded guilty to ten offences of having either counterfeit cigarettes or tobacco without health warnings on the packaging for sale at the Haji European Food Store shop he runs in Southfield Lane.
He was sentenced to a community order of 12 months, with 60 hours unpaid work, but was also ordered to pay costs of £960 for the trading standards investigation and a £60 victim surcharge.
The court was told Hussain had not started to sell cigarettes again since his stocks were seized during a trading standards raid and had not realised he was doing anything illegal.
The former car valeter had taken over the store when its owner went abroad and had simply continued with the buying practices he inherited while working there, the hearing was told. In mitigation Glen Maude told the hearing: “He is carrying responsibility and blame for something which, at the outset, was nothing to do with him.”