South Tyneside Council took action against Rudyard Wesley Scammell after a large amount of illicit tobacco products were seized from his property during a police search in September 2020.
Officers discovered 2.9kg of hand rolling tobacco and 6,120 cigarettes when they raided the property on Mons Avenue in Hebburn.
The Council’s Trading Standards officers sent the products away for testing where they were proven to be counterfeit and unsafe having failed the legally required Reduced Ignition Propensity Tests.
Scammell admitted to seven offences under The General Product Safety Regulations 2005, The Trade Marks Act 1994, The Tobacco & Related Products Regulations 2016 and The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Regulations 2015.
At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, the 54-year-old was sentenced to a four-month Community Order including a 7pm to 7am curfew and ordered to pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge.
A sum of £12,180 was also seized during the raid on his property and could not be legally accounted for by Scammell and was therefore forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and returned to the public purse.
A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council said: “Legal or illegal, all tobacco contains a toxic cocktail of chemicals which will kill one in two long term smokers.
“The availability of cheap illegal tobacco makes it harder for people to quit and remain smoke free.
“We are determined to stamp out the sale and supply of illicit tobacco, including the use of private homes or ‘tab houses’ as a source for buyers. We hope that this enforcement action sends out a clear message that we will take action against those involved in the supply of counterfeit and unsafe tobacco products in our communities.”
Illicit tobacco is the term used to describe tobacco products which have no legal market in the UK or have been illegally manufactured and sold.
It is often the case that they are not in essential UK plain packaging and do not carry the required health warnings.
Anyone who suspects the sale of illegal tobacco products in South Tyneside is encouraged to call Citizens Advice Consumer Services on 0808 223 1133 or email [email protected]