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Newsagents fined more than £1,000 for selling fireworks to child

PUBLISHED: 17:15 02 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:29 02 September 2015

Firework

Firework

Archant

16-year-old was not challenged about age

The owners of a Sidcup newsagent’s have been fined more than £1,000 for selling fireworks to a child.

Dinesh and Indira Patel, of Braundton Avenue, admitted unsafe storage of fireworks and selling fireworks to a minor at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

They also admitted failing to display a notice in the shop telling customers that it is illegal to sell fireworks to under-18s.

The court heard that in October last year, the shop sold two boxes of fireworks to a 16-year-old without asking him his age.

Trading Standards then visited the shop and found fireworks stored in a cabinet alongside matches, cigarette lighters, paper and cognac.

The sales assistant admitted that she thought the teenager might have been underage.

Mrs Patel said she had told the assistant to ask for ID if someone came in to buy cigarettes, alcohol or lottery cards, but had forgotten to mention fireworks.

Representing themselves in court, Mr and Mrs Patel said they were law-abiding citizens and had not originally appreciated what was needed to store fireworks safely. They said they would not stock fireworks anymore.

The pair were fined £1,400 and ordered to pay court costs and charges of £2,080.

Bexley Council leader Teresa O’Neill said: “It is down to businesses to make themselves aware of the legislation around the sale, display and storage of age-restricted products and stick to it.

“Under no circumstances should fireworks have been stored alongside matches, lighters and other flammable items. By doing so, the defendants were clearly putting everyone close by at risk.

“It was the height of irresponsibility, aggravated even further by selling fireworks to a 16-year-old, having made no attempt to challenge their age.”

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