An outdoor and leisure company has been fined after Trading Standards officials seized potentially dangerous electrical adaptors from its store in Bury St Edmunds.
Seven of the worldwide travel adaptors were found on sale at the Mountain Warehouse shop in Cornhill in December along with a further eight at the Ipswich branch. On Monday, Ipswich Crown Court heard how safety tests by officials from Suffolk County Council Trading Standards Department on one of the adaptors showed there was a risk of fire or electrocution if it had been used. Mountain Warehouse immediately withdrew 4,000 adaptors from sale at its shops across the country and posted recall notices offering full refunds to customers. Richard Kelly, appearing on behalf of Mountain Warehouse, said the company had taken immediate action when it became aware that the adaptors were potentially unsafe. They had been purchased from a manufacturer in China which had supplied a safety certificate with the consignment. Mountain Warehouse has since introduced further training for members of staff who purchase stock its shops. The problem had cost the company around £20,000, said Mr Kelly. No complaints were received from customers regarding the adaptors, which sold for £4.99. The company admitted two offences under product safety regulations and was fined £1,500 on each and ordered to pay £1,500 towards the cost of the prosecution. It was also ordered to pay £16,479 to meet a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Judge Peter Thompson said the company had a good reputation and had applied it’s own brand name to the adaptors after accepting assurances from the Chinese supplier that they were safe.