Baltic in Winsover Road.

Shop owner in court as more shut

A man given a suspended jail sentence and community service for a host of charges relating to the sale of illegal cigarettes and vapes had similar previous convictions, a court has been told.

But authorities say there’s little to stop those convicted of operating shops again.
It comes as four more temporary closure orders were granted against shops in Spalding this week.
It takes the total issued in South Holland to 15 since the start of April.
Two of the three-month orders for nuisance behaviour, relate to Baltic in Winsover Road.
On Monday at Boston Magistrates’ Court, Himn Farag Sharif admitted the 14 counts relating to sales of illegal cigarettes and vapes there.
The 40-year-old of Grevel Close, Spalding, was listed as the director of that store plus Warsaw in Winsover Road and Europe Store in Holbeach Road until last year.
The charges were brought after a test buy of a packet of cigarettes illegal in this country in April 2022.
“The cigarettes were retrieved from behind the counter,” prosecutor Sally Burke said. “The cigarettes were tested and found to not go out at the certain points they should do.”
A subsequent search by Trading Standards on December 1, 2022 found counterfeit brands of cigarettes and some for sale without VAT added,” Mrs Burke said.
Other items found in a fridge as well as under and behind the counter included flavoured cigarettes and ‘rainbow candy’ vapes with 9,000 puffs when legally those sold in the UK should not exceed 600.
Defence solicitor Vicki Clayton said that Sharif came to the UK in 2001 after fleeing the war in his native Iraq.
She said he did not know about the illegal items being sold in Baltic.
Ganjo Omer, the employee being paid £10 an hour who was the only person in the shop at the time of Trading Standards visits, was fined £109 and ordered to pay £349 costs and a £43 victim surcharge at a hearing in May.
Magistrates agreed that, as the director, Sharif should have known what his shop was selling.
The court was told he’d previously been convicted of what the prosecution described as ‘very similar’ charges relating to a shop in the Corby area in 2015 for which he was fined.
Miss Clayton said that Shari’s only relation in this country was his wife who was due to give birth in two weeks and that he was now working part time as a chef.
He was given a 26-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and required to take part in 150 hours of unpaid community work.
He was also ordered to pay costs of £2,936 and a £154 victim surcharge.
An order was made to destroy all the illegal property found at Baltic which has been closed for several months due to closure orders, though it’s not clear if it’s in relation to when Mr Sherif owned the shop or subsequent owners.
Also on Monday, at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court, four more closure orders were granted against Babany, Global Foods, NIDA and Stop and Shop, all of which are on Winsover Road.
The Spalding Voice asked the various authorities how they can stop people with criminal convictions running the shops.

The only time a shop needs a licence is for the sale of alcohol.
That’s issued by South Holland District Council who said it was up to Lincolnshire Police and Trading Standards to make representations where one or more of the four licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance, the protection of children from harm and public safety can’t be met.
Lincolnshire Police though said Baltic had not had a licence to sell alcohol since 2016.
A spokesman said: “Lincolnshire Police work closely with Trading Standards to research premises licence applications thoroughly and make representation if there’s evidence that the licensing objectives could be undermined in any way.
“They also take into consideration the previous conviction/s of the applicant or the director of the company applying.
“Police aren’t notified when an individual decides to open an unlicensed shop in a new area.
“Should evidence come to light about any illegal activities taking place, police will work closely with Trading Standards to deal with it by way of enforcement or closure orders.
“If the premises is licenced, responsible authorities which include police, Trading Standards, Environmental Health, council licensing, and others can take action with premises licence holders where there is evidence the licensing objectives are being undermined.”

  • After The Voice went to press this morning (Wednesday) it was revealed closure orders are due to be heard against three more South Holland premises tomorrow (Thursday). Adam Mini Mart in North Street, Crowland, Europe Store in Holbeach Road, Spalding and Sweets and Vapes in High Street, Holbeach are all due in Lincoln Magistrates Court.

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