A SHOP worker was caught selling fireworks to a child in a Bolton Council sting.

Wesley Harwood, aged 25, sold the fireworks to a child at Wesley’s Fireworks in Wigan Road, Bolton, during a test purchase carried out by Trading Standards on November 1 last year.

Bolton magistrates gave Harwood, of Hardman Street, Farnworth, who admitted the crime, a 12-month conditional discharged, and ordered him to pay £200 court costs.

Cllr Nick Peel, executive cabinet member for environmental services, said: “Misuse of fireworks is a cause of major concern to the public.

“We ask that retailers remain vigilant at all times and take necessary steps to ensure persons under the age of 18 do not purchase fireworks, including always asking for ID and challenging young people asking to purchase them.

“Retailers are liable upon prosecution to a fine of up to £5,000, a prison sentence of up to six months or both.

“We will continue to crack down on those premises that do act illegally in selling fireworks to under age young people.”

The prosecution follows Trading Standards and police joining forces last year for a series of stings on shop workers who sold alcohol and fireworks to underage teenagers.

The work involved acting on intelligence and using someone aged under 18 to carry out test sales.

The drive was part of Operation Treacle, which is aimed at preventing, tackling and protecting against anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.

Stores that had previously sold to underage people were targeted along with businesses that police had received complaints about.

Hotspot areas for anti-social behaviour were also targeted.