Newsagent caught out by trading standards

PUBLISHED: 12:44 23 June 2011

Views of Clevedon Town Signs.; 26-8-09

Views of Clevedon Town Signs.; 26-8-09

Archant

A NEWSAGENT owner in Clevedon has been handed a heavy fine after a 17-year-old boy managed to buy tobacco in one of his stores.

Kandiah Mohanakumaran, aged 63, of Kenn Moor Drive, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay nearly £3,000 in case costs following a trading standards operation.

At a hearing at North Somerset Courthouse, magistrates were told how the volunteer teenager entered KMS News, in Old Street, on November 3.

Asking for a packet of Golden Virginia, he was initially asked for identification by shop assistant Ponuthari Puvannedrarnjaj, but had nothing to show.

After hesitating, however, the assistant served the boy the tobacco and he left the store with the purchase.

Store owner Mohanakumaran was later arrested on caution and told trading standard officers in interview that Puvannedrarnjaj was a family member.

He admitted the assistant had a lack of knowledge about British law and was unable to write in the store’s alcohol and tobacco refusal book.

Prosecuting, Richard O’Sullivan, said: “He said he depended on the help of the family member because he could not afford to get anyone else.”

Magistrates fined Mohanakumaran £2,000 and ordered him to pay £2,966 case costs, of which much was from the cost of a hired translator during interview.

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