Authorities made a huge bust over the weekend that resulted in one person being charged with illegal possession and sales during a music festival. In a daring mid-afternoon raid, officers moved in on an illegal establishment being ran by a five-year-old girl. While the child was not taken into custody, she was issued a summons for illegal sales and fined $200 by her local council for her infringement of village rules.
The girl’s father, Andre Spicer, said his daughter set up a stall in the Mile End section of London where thousands of music fans were on their way to the Lovebox Festival during the weekend. Spicer said his daughter had only been open for business a short time selling homemade lemonade for 65 cents, when they were approached by no fewer than four enforcement officers from Tower Hamlets council. He said the officers walked over from the other side of the road and proceeded to demand that her stall be shut down.
Spicer said he expected the officers to “tell us to pack up and go home,” but instead “turned on their mobile camera and began reading from a big script explaining she did not have a trading licence.” Then they issued her a $200 fine, reduced to $125 if she paid early.
It was very traumatic for my little girl. “My daughter clung to me screaming ‘daddy, daddy, I’ve done a bad thing.’ She’s five,” Spicer told the Evening Standard. “She sobbed all the way home … she was very upset because she was proud of selling it, and this really soured the experience.”
Following the incident Spicer told his daughter he would apply for a permit for her but she said it was “too scary.” The council has since apologized for what happened and canceled the fine. There was no word on if the girls record would be expunged and the council was not available for comment.