Jail sentence and £12k fine for Aspley Road shopkeeper for sale of illegal tobacco

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PJ Supermarket. Image: Google Maps September 2020 © Google 2024
PJ Supermarket. Image: Google Maps September 2020 © Google 2024

The owner of a supermarket in Aspley Road has been handed a prison sentence and ordered to pay more than £12,000 in costs and penalties after “repeatedly” ignoring warnings from Bedford Borough Council.

Parim Jit, who owns PJ Supermarket, in Aspley Road, Bedford, was sentenced at Luton Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 28 May in relation to 11 offences regarding the sale of illegal tobacco.

He was given a 26-week suspended sentence.

Jit was found guilty of five breaches of the labelling requirements of Part 2 of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, and six breaches of the Trade Marks Act 1994.

The shop had previously had its license revoked in 2021 after 14,000 counterfeit cigarettes were found on the premises.

Read: Alcohol licence revoked on Aspley Road shop

As well as the suspended jail term, the court ordered him to pay £12,474.30 – made up of £12,320.30 towards the prosecution’s costs plus a victim surcharge of £154.

A spokesperson for Bedford Borough Council said: “The court heard how there were a large number of offences, which took place on a number of occasions.

“They were deliberate acts and Mr Jit repeatedly failed to respond to warnings. He knew that he was breaking the law. 

“Any businesses selling illegal tobacco should know that the Trading Standards Service will use all the enforcement tools at our disposal, including prosecution and closure orders, to ensure these activities do not continue.

“If you believe a business is selling illegal tobacco it can be reported to Trading Standard via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/.”