East Yorkshire man used shed to hide illegal tobacco
A man has been convicted of selling illegally imported tobacco and cigarettes from his East Yorkshire garden shed.
Terrance Nolan, 65, of Hill Rise Drive, Market Weighton, received a five-month suspended jail sentence at Hull Crown Court.
He pleaded guilty to evading nearly ₤100,000 of duty.
The court heard that customs officers found cigarettes in hidden compartments built into Nolan's garden shed.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) raided his home last October and searched the house and garden.
Garden sheds burgled
Officers found 40kg (88lb) of hand-rolling tobacco hidden in specially made spaces in the garden fence.
As they searched further they uncovered a purpose-built compartment behind a false wall in the garden shed.
It contained more than 125,000 Richman cigarettes, a brand not available for sale in the UK. Other cigarettes were also found in his house.
In total, more than 280,000 cigarettes and 140kg (308lb) of hand-rolling tobacco were seized.
John Cooper, HMRC's assistant director of criminal investigation, said: "Nolan's activities were well-known in the area and a steady stream of cars visited his home.
"Neighbours also complained that their garden sheds were being burgled and ransacked by other criminals looking for cigarettes."
As well as the suspended jail sentence, Nolan was given a 60-day curfew between the hours of 18:00 and 06:00.