A ST Ives newsagent has been convicted of smoking indoors despite three warnings.

Christopher Whateley's shop in Ramsey Road was visited by Huntingdonshire District Council environmental health protection officer Belinda Betham on March 26 after a complaint was made by a member of the public.

HDC said Mrs Betham found cigarettes on the floor of Whateley's Newsagents as well as a full ash tray, cigarette ash on the floor and surfaces and burn marks on worktops.

Whateley had been send three written warnings from HDC when officers witnessed smoking during routine inspections in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

At Huntingdon Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (June 25) the shop owner, representing himself, said he had been in business for 45 years and had tried to stop smoking in the past.

He was given a two-year conditional discharge.

Magistrates said that they took into consideration that three warnings had been disregarded and allowing smoking in an enclosed space posed a risk to public health.

Whateley was ordered to pay the council's costs of £517.87 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Councillor Robin Howe, portfolio holder for healthy and active communities, said: "The council is committed to protecting the health of the local community and persistent and flagrant breaches of public health legislation must be dealt with.

"Members of the public are entitled to enjoy a smoke-free environment."