Illegal fireworks salesman fined
The owner of a flooring shop has been fined for selling fireworks to a child.
Tony Copland of Brighton Road in Banstead, owner of All Floors Limited with branches in Purley Way, Croydon, and Oldfields Road, Sutton, has been fined £4,000 for selling fireworks to a 15-year-old and for breaking several rules relating to the storage of fireworks.
Trading standard officers from Sutton and Croydon visited the Sutton branch in November to take part in a test purchase operation. A 15-year-old volunteer was able to buy fireworks worth £20.
When Copland was asked about the purchase he claimed he did not know who the seller was. Officers also found fireworks stored in an unsafe way and in breach of the law.
Copland appeared in court on Tuesday to admit 16 charges - eight relating to him personally and eight relating to his business - and was fined a total of £4,100. All fireworks seized have been destroyed.
Councillor Richard Clifton, Sutton Council's lead member for trading standards, said: "Fireworks are extremely dangerous and it is up to sellers to challenge anyone who looks underage. It’s worrying that in this case a 15-year-old was able to purchase fireworks without question.
"The safe storage of fireworks is priority for officers to protect both staff and customers from the risk of explosion and fire. Visits are made to all registered sellers during October and November to ensure correct and safe storage.
"This is a good example however, of boroughs working together to ensure trading standards are met.
"Our Trading Standards teams will always ensure that the law is abided by and that anyone who ignores the rules is prosecuted."