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Girl, 5, fined £150 for trading without a licence

The five-year-old was selling lemonade to people going to Lovebox in Mile End

A five-year-old girl was fined £150 by a Tower Hamlets Council for selling 50p cups of lemonade to festival goers.

The girl’s father Professor Andre Spicer helped his daughter set up the stall in Mile End, while thousands of music fans were on their way to the Lovebox Festival at the weekend.

Cups of lemonade were priced at 50p for a small cup and £1 for a large one.

Tower Hamlets council officers approached her at the stall, one officer was wearing a bodycam for their safety – and informed her that she could not sell lemonade in the street without a permit.

They read her a legal letter saying she would be fined £150 – reduced to £90 if paid early.

According to the BBC Professor Spicer said: “She just wanted to put a smile on people’s faces. She was really proud of herself.

“But after a small time trading, four enforcement officers walked over from the other side of the road.

“I was quite shocked. I thought that they would just tell us to pack up and go home.

“But they turned on their mobile camera and began reading from a big script explaining that she did not have a trading licence.

“My daughter clung to me screaming ‘daddy, daddy, I’ve done a bad thing.’ She’s five.

“We were then issued a fine of £150. We packed up and walked home.”

The council has now cancelled the fine and apologised for what happened.

A council spokesman said: “We are very sorry that this has happened. We expect our enforcement officers to show common sense and to use their powers sensibly.

“This clearly did not happen.

“The fine will be cancelled immediately and we have contacted Professor Spicer and his daughter to apologise.”

Reporting from the heart of the East End, Tower Hamlets.

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