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Prosecutions: Retail Trade

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been (a) charged with and (b) convicted of selling tobacco to those under 18 years since the age of sale was raised to 18 years. (243905)

13 people have been proceeded against at magistrates courts and 11 people have been found guilty at all courts of selling tobacco to a person aged under 18 in England and Wales, from 1 October 2007 to 31 December 2007 (the latest available). The age of sale was raised from 16 to 18 on 1 October 2007. Charging data are not collected centrally by my Department.

The statistics relate to people for whom these offences were the principal offences. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.