Knife sold to 16 year old in Abingdon

A store in Abingdon whose employee sold a knife to a 16-year-old has plead guilty in Court and as a result, received a £750 fine.

Lewis Baker Retail Ltd in Abingdon plead guilty in Court on Friday 24 July after their employee sold a knife to a 16 year old in December 2019.

The sale was made as part of an undercover operation whereby a test purchase of a Blackspur utility knife was successfully made by an underaged volunteer from the Fire Cadets.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service then brought the case and worked to have the store charged with a single offence under S141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, the County Council’s cabinet member for Community Safety, said:

“Anyone selling age-restricted-products needs to be doing everything possible to make sure their staff are properly trained and confident enough to challenge people for proof of age and identity, when appropriate. With tackling knife crime a priority for many areas, it is essential that businesses have taken all reasonable steps to ensure they have a robust system in place to prevent such sales from happening.”

The company was fined £750 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,084.46 and a £75 victim surcharge.

The Magistrates acknowledged that since the offence the business now had “simple and straightforward safeguards in place” and that “steps had been taken in the right direction” in respect of training, signage and refusals records.

The bench also took into consideration the three-month gap in trading due to lockdown; their co-operation with investigation; and gave credit for the early guilty plea.

Head of Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards, Jody Kerman, said:

“We know that these are difficult times for retailers but they must understand that if they fail to set up preventative measures or train their staff adequately, then their business is liable for illegal knife sales made at their premises. Before any test purchasing takes place all stores are visited by Trading Standards officers and given advice on the sale of age-restricted products. They are also informed that test purchasing will take place in their area shortly.”

Another business from the Vale of the White Horse charged with a similar offence is due to appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on the 07 August 2020.

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