A convenience store retailer from Lincolnshire has been landed with a hefty fine and a 12-week suspended prison sentence for selling illicit tobacco.

Almost 4,000 illicit cigarettes and 29 packs of roll your own tobacco were seized from Foods 4 You in Lincoln in a raid by Trading Standards and Police last month.

Sniffer dog Indie discovered the tobacco hidden behind a false wall and in a concealment under the counter.

Emma Milligan, senior trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Shops that sell fake cigarettes are conning consumers and taking money away from local businesses that do trade legitimately.

”It isn’t fair that they should lose out because they cannot compete with the cheap prices of illegal items.”

Owner Sherko Saeed pleaded guilty to all charges. He was handed a 12-week prison sentence suspended for nine months and ordered to pay legal costs of £1,078.18 plus a victim surcharge of £80.