A SHOP owner has been ordered to pay over £2,000 after a 15-year-old girl was sold cigarettes during a test purchase.

Omar Saleh, 45, appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court on Tuesday, charged with selling tobacco products to a child and selling cigarettes that breached packaging regulations.

He pleaded guilty to both charges.

Saleh runs Bila Mini Market on Clayton Road. On February 29 the store was part of a Trading Standards test purchase operation, where teenagers were sent to stores to see if they were sold cigarettes. A 15-year-old girl managed to purchase a packet of cigarettes from the store.

Trading Standards had previously received reports of the store selling of cigarettes to minors and a warning was issued last September.

Harjit Singh Ryatt, prosecuting, said: “It was thought the warning would have acted as a wake up call and the store would have got its act together, but the warning hadn’t been taken to heart.”

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Magistrates heard that Saleh was not in the country at the time of the purchase, but was in Iraq attending a family funeral.

The business was in a “transitional period” – and Saleh had planned to sell it to another owner. This potential buyer had been in charge of the store at the time of the test purchase – the court was told, and Saleh found out about the sale once he returned to the UK. As the owner he was legally responsible.

The sale of the store subsequently fell through.

Magistrates fined Saleh £1,000 and ordered him to pay £1,395 costs.