AN AMMANFORD newsagent’s business has been fined £225 for selling cigarettes to an under-age child.

A child volunteer successfully purchased tobacco at Amman News in Station Road, Tirydail, as part of Operation AMEC - the ongoing survey into trader compliance regarding the sale of age-restricted products in Carmarthenshire.

Carmarthen magistrates heard that the premises licence holder and designated premises supervisor, Mr Bala Pulendrathasan, was not present at the time of the sale.

Amman News is the trading name of Venita UK & International Ltd. The company director, Kumarasamoy Gunasingham, was not involved in the day-to-day running of the business and this task had been delegated to Mr Pulendrathasan.

Mr Gunasingham pleaded guilty in respect of an offence contrary to section 7 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1993 – selling cigarettes to a person under the age of 18.

Carmarthenshire county council trading standards officer James Lee witnessed the sale and conducted a brief interview under caution with the seller, Sasikumar Sankaran, immediately afterwards.

The company was fined £225 and ordered to pay £353.56 costs.

Council executive board member for public protection, Cllr Jim Jones, said: “The county council takes a very serious view of the sale of age-restricted products to children. The consequences of these sales can be far reaching.”