Suspended sentence for South Yorkshire man over failure to pay tobacco tax

CRIME: Crime scene.

CRIME: Crime scene.

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A South Yorkshire man has received a suspended prison sentence after failing to pay tax on thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes and tobacco.

Keith Withington, aged 63, of Stirling Avenue, Bawtry, Doncaster, was arrested by police at a pub in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, in November 2014.

Police found a total of 1,860 cigarettes and 16.15kg of rolling tobacco.

He also produced £3,783 in cash, which was seized.

A search of his home led to the seizure of another 26.4kg of tobacco and £4,070 in cash.

The total duty evaded was £8,183.70.

Withington pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property as well as dealing in cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco

on which UK duty had not been paid.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and received an 180 hour unpaid work order.

The cash seized from Withington had been detained under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Stuart Taylor, of HM Revenue and Customs, said: “HMRC will not hesitate to investigate those who try to profit from defrauding honest taxpayers.

“Withington now has a criminal record and has been ordered to pay back the money he stole from taxpayers.”

Anyone with information about illegal smuggling activity, the transport, storage or sale of illicit tobacco, cigarettes or alcohol, should contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.