Stoke-on-Trent business fined after selling axe to 14-year-old

By Kerry Ashdown - Local Democracy Reporter

15th May 2024 | Local News

Bargain World, on Ford Green Road in Smallthorne, has been fined after selling an axe to a 14-year-old boy (Google).
Bargain World, on Ford Green Road in Smallthorne, has been fined after selling an axe to a 14-year-old boy (Google).

A Stoke-on-Trent business has been fined £6,000 after an axe was sold to a 14-year-old boy.

The sale at Bargain World in Smallthorne was made to a teenage volunteer working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council's Trading Standards department after concerns were raised about measures in place to prevent sales to under-age customers.

Robinay Johns, prosecuting on behalf of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, told magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on Monday: "On June 29 2023 a Trading Standards officer carried out a routine inspection at Bargain World. During the inspection, he observed a number of products on display.

"The business was selling a number of axes displayed on a ground-level shelf on an aisle away from the till area. He examined the business' under-age sales system and spoke to a person behind a counter, who said he was the son of the director of the business.

No-one from the Ford Green Road store attended the court hearing on Monday (Nub News).

"The business displayed a poster saying don't sell knives to under-age customers. He was able to explain to (the Trading Standards officer) what ID he would ask for and he had knowledge of age restrictions.

"But he was unable to show any sales policies when asked to, like an under-age sales refusal register. (The officer) advised him he would write to the business with some advice and he sent a letter to Bargain World on July 12 that contained a copy of guidance."

Trading Standards officers paid a further visit on August 2, the court heard. On this occasion they were accompanied by three volunteers aged 14 to 15 and an axe was sold to one of the teenagers during a test purchase.

No-one from the Ford Green Road store attended the court hearing at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on Monday (May 13). But the case that the store had sold an offensive weapon to a person under 18 was proved in their absence.

Steps have been taken since the test purchase to prevent a re-occurrence, the court was told. Magistrates imposed a £6,000 fine and the business has also been ordered to pay £500 costs.

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READ MORE: Two arrested after stolen motorbike recovered in Stoke-on-Trent

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