Following £17,748 of illicit cigarettes and tobacco being seized at a Doncaster premises, two men involved in the large scale distribution of the fake smoking materials have been handed a 12-month community order. David Hathaway of Lower Malton Road, Scawsby and Thomas Barwick of Christ Church Road, Doncaster pleaded guilty to supplying illegal tobacco products without the relevant health warnings, after an investigation by the council’s Trading Standard Services.
During the period between January to July 2014 officers of Trading Standards conducted investigations into the supply of illicit tobacco products orchestrated via a method of distribution designed to frustrate revealing the individual behind the illegal activities to the relevant authorities.
Hathaway organised the delivery of supplies from his home address of the illegal products to on market day mornings, namely Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays of each week.
Subsequently Barwick would travel by taxi to a popular town centre public house where he would sell cigarettes and rolling tobacco priced at £3 for cigarettes and £7 for rolling tobacco to members of the public, claiming that the average daily sales would generate approximately £500 or more in profits, from which he was paid a fee for conducting the sales.
Following the test purchasing of illicit products and search warrants conducted by Trading Standards and Police Officers a total of 968 packets of 20 cigarettes and 844 pouches of 50g rolling tobacco with an estimated value of approximately £17,748 were seized.
On Tuesday, both Hathaway and Barwick having pleaded guilty to supplying illegal tobacco products without the relevant health warnings were both sentenced to a twelve months community order with twelve months supervision, a curfew order for four months from 7pm to 7am and each ordered to pay costs of £400 with a £60 victim surcharge.
Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health, said: “All tobacco is harmful, but the supply of illegal cigarettes seriously undermines the drive to reduce smoking, fuels organised criminality and is often a gateway for young people to becoming addicted to a habit which prematurely kills over half its users.
Our message is clear to those involved in this illegal practice – there is no hiding place, and we operate a zero tolerance policy.”