Shopkeepers who knowingly sell cigarettes to children have been warned they will be prosecuted.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards spoke out after Mohamed Sheik – of Keighley Newsagents, in North Street – was fined £160 by magistrates and ordered to pay £721 in prosecution costs for selling cigarettes to someone under-age.

Trading Standards said that on January 7 this year a 15-year-old female test purchaser entered Keighley Newsagents and asked Mr Sheik, who was behind the counter, for ten Lambert and Butler cigarettes.

Mr Sheik served the girl without asking for her age or ID but allegedly told her to put the cigarettes in her pocket. He denied making the remark. The test purchase was carried out following a complaint to Trading Standards that the shop was selling cigarettes to under-age children. A warning letter had also been sent.

The minimum legal age for buying cigarettes is 18.

Speaking after last Thursday’s case at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court, West Yorkshire Chief Trading Standards Officer Graham Hebblethwaite said: “We are determined to reduce the number of under-age sales of cigarettes to minors and will continue to take legal action against the minority of traders who run premises where children can purchase cigarettes.”

Councillor Val Slater, chairman of the Trading Standards Committee, said: “It is not acceptable that businesses put young people’s health at risk by selling them cigarettes.

“I advise any person with information on premises selling age-restricted products to children to report the matter to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.”