Vac shop boss’ fake cig sales

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A shopkeeper has been given an electronic tag after admitting peddling fake cigarettes -– from a vacuum cleaner shop.

Jack Dempsey Pickles, 65, of Tranmere Road, Marton, appeared at Preston Crown Court where he admitted five charges relating to illicit tobacco sales following a visit from Trading Standards.

Officers carried out an inspection at the Vacuum Cleaner Shop on Central Drive.

Sentencing him, Judge Graham Knowles said: “You co-operated straight away when the authorities came to the shop.

“You have no previous convictions.

“While I do take these things into account, these cigarettes were not subject to all the usual controls for the safety – albeit this is tobacco - of the public.

“I also bear in mind some did not have the alarming deterrent photographs on them.”

The court heard Dempsey was found to be possessing and offering for sale 13 pouches of tobacco, which bore a Golden Virginia trade mark and 76 packets of tobacco bearing the Regal trademark, on December 15 last year.

The court heard 14 pouches of tobacco had a sign likely to be mistaken for Amber Leaf.

As well as the counterfeit offences, Pickles admitted two counts of possessing for supply products which did not carry the health warning required by the tobacco regulations, which related to the seizure of 88 packets of e-cigarettes and one pack of Mayfair cigarettes.