A MAN, who pleaded guilty to selling illegal tobacco in a shop in Brierley Hill, who originally avoided jail back in 2019, now finds himself behind bars.

Ali Ibrahim Hamad of Huntingdon Road, West Bromwich sold illegal tobacco in his shop Istanbul Mini Market, in Brierley Hill in 2019.

At the time he was given a suspended sentence of 18 months, 150 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay costs of £5028.50 and a Confiscation Order of £58,923.09 was made.

After asking for an extension to the time to repay the money, Hamad failed to attend an enforcement court hearing and the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Ongoing trading standards investigations found that since the original court case and the confiscation order was made, the defendant had acquired an expensive vehicle.

He was arrested and brought in front of Birmingham magistrates on June 17.

Hamad was handed a 181 day jail term and the confiscation order currently stands at £65,905.45 due to interest accrued.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards at Dudley Council, said: "This is case of someone thinking they can evade the legal process and fail to pay the consequences they have been given through a court of law.

"The defendant hasn’t helped his case by failing to come to hearings and not repaying the confiscation order.

"I’m pleased with the result of the most recent court action. This once again sends a clear message to anyone in the trade of illicit goods that we take these cases incredibly seriously and the legal process is there to bring them to justice."