The latest in a series of groundbreaking court cases brought by Croydon Council Trading Standards has seen Topline Wholesale Ltd fined £8,500 for selling a hand axe to a 13-year-old.
The council has now successfully prosecuted 16 businesses across the country under its trading standards team’s pilot clampdown against illegal online sales of weapons to children. The scheme is backed by the Home Office and National Trading Standards.
The latest case – against Topline Wholesale Ltd based in Manchester – came after a 13-year-old test purchaser in Croydon, who was a volunteer for the council, was able to buy the 1.85lb hand axe on eBay on March 20, 2019.
Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 as amended by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996, it is illegal to sell an axe, knife, knife blade or razor blade to anyone under 18.
At a hearing in February 2019 Topline Wholesale Ltd was previously convicted for dealing in goods that do not comply with safety regulations under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and a trade mark offence under the Trade Marks Act 1994.
In this case the court ordered Topline to pay a £8,500 fine plus £10,500 in full prosecution costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
“I am proud that Croydon Council is playing a major part in bringing to account online retailers who are failing to follow the law and are illegally selling axes and knives to our children and young people. I would also like to praise the hard work of our trading standards team in securing an impressive 16 prosecutions.
“Too many young lives have been lost as a result of the online sales of dangerous weapons and I hope this prosecution sends the strongest possible message to retailers that they must put in place far tougher measures to restrict underage sales or they may be prosecuted.”
Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for communities, safety and resilience