Page last updated at 13:45 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 14:45 UK

Pontypool ice cream men sold cigarettes to children

Ice cream van
Children as young as 11 years old were sold cigarettes

Two men have pleaded guilty to charges of selling cigarettes to children from an ice cream van.

James Fisher, from Cardiff, who rents a Signor Rossi ice cream van and employee Mark Gabriel, from Hengoed, were fined £1,130 by Cwmbran magistrates.

Torfaen trading standards was told children as young as 11 years old were being sold cigarettes from the van.

Test purchases involving 14 and 15 year olds were carried out at the van which operated in the Pontypool area.

'Never challenged'

On three different occasions the teenagers were never challenged to prove their age, said trading standards.

Torfaen councillor Gwyneira Clark, executive member for housing and public protection, said: "This case should serve as a warning to businesses in Torfaen that we are constantly on the lookout for illegal sales of cigarettes and we will take action against anyone we catch in the act.

"We're determined to protect the health of our young people, and stopping businesses selling cigarettes to underage people is a big part of this."

She added: "The sentence shows how seriously the courts view these sales and this should serve as an example to others who might break the law and risk children's health.

"Selling one packet of cigarettes to a child, which might have made him less than £1 profit, has now landed these traders with a £1,130 bill and a criminal record."

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