Butcher took cut from tobacco

Nottingham Post - - NEWS - By ROD MAL­COLM

A BUTCHER blamed the high street de­cline for his de­ci­sion to sell il­le­gal cig­a­rettes from his shop.

John Hogg, 63, of­fered the ex­pla­na­tion to city mag­is­trates who or­dered him to do 120 hours’ un­paid work.

They were told a Not­ting­ham City Coun­cil trad­ing stan­dards team raided the Wood­side Road premises and found tobacco prod­ucts which had been hid­den.

Hogg, who had a sim­i­lar pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion, told the court he had run the busi­ness for 40 years. When asked if trade was dif­fi­cult, he replied: “Very, very.”

He went on: “It seems ev­ery­body’s best days have gone. That is all I have got to say.

“No small re­tail out­let is hav­ing it good at the mo­ment.

“I know I should not have done it. I know that.

“I didn’t sell them over the counter, just to peo­ple I know, not like over the counter,” said Hogg, who lives in Not­ting­ham Road, Nuthall. He ad­mit­ted break­ing trade­mark rules for Am­ber Leaf and Golden Vir­ginia tobacco on Au­gust 13 and the same charge re­lat­ing to 61 pack­ets of Rich­mond cig­a­rettes.

Hogg also pleaded guilty to hav­ing 80 packs of cig­a­rettes of sev­eral brands which did not carry health warn­ings.

He must pay £736 coun­cil costs and a gov­ern­ment sur­charge of £85.

Sarah Mills, pros­e­cut­ing, said Gold Clas­sic cig­a­rettes were found be­hind a ra­dio in the kitchen.

More were found in a mix­ing pot, some in a car­rier bag and more on a kitchen work sur­face.

“He was asked about the cig­a­rettes and said he got them from some­body with a view to sell them.

“He said he had not yet paid for them, with the money made split be­tween him and the sup­plier,” said Miss Mills.

Hogg told the of­fi­cers that he would have re­ceived £5 for ev­ery £25 made by the sales.

Miss Mills said the cig­a­rettes had a street value of £5 a packet, nearly half the price of le­gal smokes.

Hand-rolling tobacco was sold for £18 a pouch but could be bought il­le­gally for £5.

■ You can re­port tax eva­sion on the HMRC hot­line 0800 788 887


J. Hogg & Son butch­ers in Wood­side Road, Not­ting­ham.

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