TRADING standards officers who carried out a routine inspection at a Nelson off-licence discovered a tobacco packaging facility in an upstairs bedroom.

Blackburn magistrates heard the officers recovered hundreds of packets which bore false trademarks, illegal packaging and made up packages of tobacco with false trademarks.

Imran Zafar, 30, of Meadow Close, Burnley, pleaded guilty to three charges under the trademarks and tobacco packaging regulations. He was made subject to a community order for 12 moths with 100 hours unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £1,94 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Nicholas McNamara. prosecuting, said Zafar, who owned the shop, was behind the counter when the trading standards officers attended. They went up some stairs to a flat where an elderly East European couple were living.

"In a room that wasn't occupied they found a cigarette and tobacco packaging facility," said Mr McNamara.

"There were empty packets, packets that already been made up and tobacco scraps."

Mr McNamara said Zafra had been cautioned for similar offences in 2010 and convicted of trading standards offences involving tobacco in 2014.

Vaqas Latif, defending, said his client had got himself in debt and foolishly went down the route accepting items from another man which he could sell.

"He has since sold the business and he now has a grocery business," said Mr Latif.

"Since he started that business there have been several visits from Trading Standards and they haven't found anything untoward going on."