A man has been found guilty of selling tobacco to an under 18 year old.
Jialun Li, 27-year-old was prosecuted by NSW Ministry of Health, and faced Griffith Local Court on Wednesday.
On January 15 around 12.30pm, and boy and girl, both 14 years of age, entered the petrol station where Li worked and approached the counter.
The girl asked for a packet of Winfield Blue cigarettes, to which Li sold to her without asking for identification or her age.
This transaction was observed by the compliance officer.
When approached later, Li did not deny selling the cigarettes to the girl.
When asked why he didn't ask, he said "once I gave her the cigarettes I realised I made a mistake but it was too late."
Tobacco and Compliance Officer Ian Hardinge representing Murrumbidgee Local Health District explained there were strict penalties in place for a reason.
"These kinds of penalties are in place to stop our young people from access to cigarettes," he told the magistrate.
In NSW it is illegal to sell tobacco to a person under the age of 18, with the maximum penalty for selling any of these products to minors is, in the case of an individual, $11,000 for a first time offence.
Li's representative David Davidge said in discussions with his client, he had expressed "true remorse" and heartfelt contrition over what he had done.
"He entered the plea at the first available opportunity, and has acknowledged the harm done," Mr Davidge said.
He argued for a non-conviction seeing as it was Li's first offence of that kind, added to his remorse and excellent character references.
Li had written a letter for Magistrate Joy Boulos to read also expressing these sentiments, and outlined he was in the process of obtaining a permanent visa.
If Li was convicted his application would be rejected.
"I have read your letter and I accept your genuine remorse," she told a visibly nervous Li.
"I understand you are in the process of applying for permanent residency but I am not concerned with that.
"But I do have concern for the facts in front of me."
Given his plea of guilty at the first available opportunity, lack of criminal history, she exercised her discretion and handed down a conditional release order for 18 months without conviction and without a fine.
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