Crackdown results in big fines for unlawful traders (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Environmental health officers and trading standards teams secure prosecutions
A string of recent court cases have seen a multi-national corporation and sole traders alike punished for flouting hygiene and trading standards laws.
A crackdown revealed a mouse infestation at a corporate chain’s bakery, a market trader selling counterfeit footwear, a global telecom company illegally advertising and a second bakery overrun by vermin.
Environmental health officers carried out a series of inspections in 2012 and 2013, and the resulting prosecutions have been progressing through the legal system.
Last November at cash and carry store Costco in Shadbolt Avenue, Chingford, three dead mice were found in a food cupboard and three more were found decomposing on a sticky board.
Mice had also gnawed into several bags of flour and cake mix and droppings were found throughout the bakery.
At Thames Magistrates’ Court last month Costco Wholesale UK Ltd pleaded guilty to seven offences.
It was fined £27,120 and forced to pay costs of over £6,000.
Telecom giant Lycamobile UK Ltd pleaded guilty to six charges of breaching advertising regulations after it was found to be flyposting.
The company was fined £2,400 for each of six offences plus costs, resulting in a bill of over £16,000.
Finally, Aadams Bagel Bakery in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, was forced to pay over £18,000 for repeated offences.
The owner pleaded guilty to nine offences, including allowing the premises to be infested by vermin and operating without hot water.
He has now been banned from owning any food business.
In February four pairs of UGG boots and 20 pairs of Vans shoes, which were hidden, were seized from a Walthamstow market trader.
The footwear was confirmed as counterfeit and in September stall holder Chui Ting was sentenced to 80 hours unpaid work and forced to pay costs of over £500.
Councillor Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, said: “In Waltham Forest we will not tolerate our residents being cheated or our borough being disrespected.”
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