Smuggled goods sold at club

THE MANAGER of a club in Worle smuggled thousands of pounds worth of alcohol and cigarettes to sell at the venue

THE MANAGER of a club in Worle smuggled thousands of pounds worth of alcohol and cigarettes to sell at the venue.

Graham Burton, aged 55, pleaded guilty to a charge of knowingly keeping or allowing smuggled goods to be kept, at a hearing in North Somerset Courthouse on December 19.

The former Mead Vale Local Action Team (LAT) treasurer said he bought the cigarettes found at Q's Snooker Club in Nightingale Court from someone known only as 'Dodgy Dave'.

Burton, of Swan Close in Worle, sold rolling tobacco, cigarettes and alcohol at the club, which had been bought abroad. The goods are not legally allowed to be sold in the UK and some bottles still had 'not for sale in the UK' stickers on them.

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Philip Robbins, prosecuting, said: "Burton wasn't present when the police arrived but a staff member told officers the items had been sold at the club for some time.

"The estimated loss of duty on the items seized during the raid was about £1,800 but as this had been going on for a while, we really cannot say how much it was in total."

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Police officers went to the club in October after receiving numerous reports from members of the public that illegal goods were being sold there.

Mr Robbins added: "Despite the cigarettes being marked 'not for resale', Burton was selling them at the club for £2.50 per pack. He said the tobacco had been bought for his own use but admitted selling some packets for £5 each."

Magistrates at the court case said the crime was deliberate, organised and done over some time, before they fined him £500. Burton also had to surrender his designated premises supervisor licence and will not be able to obtain another one for five years. This means he will not be able to be the responsible person in charge of alcohol and cigarette sales. He was also ordered to pay £60 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

Members of Mead Vale LAT asked Burton to stand down when they heard about the charges, which were in breach of the group's constitution regulations.

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