A CITY butcher has become the first person in Scotland to be convicted of breaching an order banning him from selling tobacco.

Over two years, the Meat Market in Easterhouse was issued with fixed penalty notices totalling £4000 for selling non-duty paid cigarettes and tobacco from the premises.

On each occasion, city council tobacco control officers had carried out test purchases at the butcher’s shop.

In September 2015, Glasgow Sheriff Court issued an order banning John Truten, who is also known as Iain Truten, from continuing to sell cigarettes and tobacco from the shop at Shandwick Square shopping centre.

He was found to have committed repeat offences and was banned for the maximum period of two years.

But city council tobacco officers launched a new investigation following a tip off and in July the following year found he had breached the order.

Mr Truten was charged and last month again appeared in the Sheriff Court where he pled guilty to contravening the tobacco retailing banning order.

He was fined £1800 and almost 2000 cigarettes and 20 pouches of tobacco which had been seized during the investigation were ordered to be destroyed.

Neil Coltart, the council’s trading standards manager, said: “People have to be registered on the Scottish Government’s tobacco retail register and Mr Truten was not registered and didn’t display the required notice saying it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18.

“When tobacco control officers went to the shop it was obvious there was under the counter selling and they saw people coming out with cartons of cigarettes in plastic bags.

“In order to seek a banning order, officers have to find three breaches over a two year period which they did.

“They interviewed Mr Truten during that period and on each occasion he was issued with fixed penalty notices.

“A banning order was granted by a Sheriff in September2015 but in summer 2016 we received intelligence he was back selling cigarettes.

“Officers saw a person leaving the premises with tobacco and they carried out a full investigation and found nearly 2000 cigarettes and 20 pouches of rolling tobacco.”

It is understood Mr Truten was earning thousands of pounds each week through tobacco sales.

Mr Coltart said: “This guy had been given so many opportunities to comply with the legislation that we decided to refer him to the Procurator Fiscal.”