Morrisons fined for underage firework sale

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Image caption,
Morrisons was fined £1,000 for selling TNT Space Explorer rockets to a 16-year-old

A supermarket chain has been fined £1,000 for selling fireworks to a 16-year-old boy at one of its Edinburgh stores.

Wm Morrison Plc had denied the charge of supplying a firework to a person under 18 years old on 25 October 2009, at its South Gyle Broadway store.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard workers Tracy Reid and Elaine Parsons sold TNT Space Explorer rockets to the boy.

Since the incident the supermarket said it had improved staff training.

The incident was spotted by Trading Standards officers.

Sheriff Nigel Morrison said the supermarket failed to exercise due diligence. He found the chain guilty of the offence after a trial.

The court heard that the two women who served the youth were assistants on the dry cleaning counter.

Their normal duties did not usually include the sale of age-restricted products such as fireworks except in the weeks around 5 November.

Giving evidence, the assistants said they had been provided with training but that on the day of the incident the fact that the store was busy may have affected their judgement.

Sheriff Morrison said: "In the circumstances I do not consider that all reasonable steps were taken or that Morrisons exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.

"The home and leisure manager of the South Gyle store was prepared to accept that role-play, till prompts and a dedicated person on the fireworks counter were steps that could have been taken."

Defence agent Euan McSherry said since the date of the incident further training steps had been taken, including role play in transaction sales and a new buddy scheme.

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