A MAN has been given a suspended prison sentence after a sniffer dog's diligent nose helped trading standards officers find a stash of more than 5,000 illegal cigarettes.

At Manchester Magistrates' Court shop owner, 40-year-old Marcin Wenderski, of Greenroyd Avenue, Bolton, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for a year after pleading guilty to trademark and tobacco regulation offences.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,245 in costs and charges.

On May 9 last year, acting on a tip off regarding the sale of illegal tobacco in Moston, Manchester City Council officers discovered a range of tobacco products being sold behind the counter at Euro Market, in Moston Lane.

The officers were joined by a tobacco detection dog — Bertie — whose attention was drawn to an apparently empty back stock room.

However, further examination of a cupboard revealed that it had a false back, with additional illegal tobacco found inside.

In total, officers seized 750g of rolling tobacco, and 5,057 cigarettes.

Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar, from Manchester City Council said: "This prosecution shows is that it pays off for us to always be vigilant. Credit is due to our trading standards officers and legal team for securing this successful conviction."