An investigation by Hertfordshire Trading Standards has resulted in the successful prosecution of a Hitchin business which imported and sold dangerous candyfloss machines.
Gifts 4 All Occasions Ltd was ordered to pay £14,000 in fines £1,856 in costs and a £181 during a sentencing at St Albans Magistrates Court on October 12. The sentencing followed a hearing on July 3 at Stevenage Magistrates Court, in which the company pleaded guilty to 10 counts under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016.
Hertfordshire Trading Standards officer had purchased two candyfloss machines from the business and had them tested by independent experts. Both failed to meet electrical safety requirements and one was found to pose a fire risk.
During the sentencing District Judge Dodd said she took account of the company’s previous good character, its cooperation with trading standards throughout the investigation and its inexperience with importing electrical goods. She also accepted that the COVID-19 situation was having a significant effect on the business at present. However, in imposing the penalties she said she had to take into account the serious safety implications of the offending.
Terry Hone, Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Waste Management, said: “The public put their trust in businesses, assuming that the items they buy are safe. Trading standards offer business advice to support those who may need help and that was given in this case. Despite this, items were sold that were unsafe.
“Those that avoid their responsibilities and fail to carry out sufficient safety checks, thereby putting customers at risk of serious injury or death, could find themselves explaining their lack of action to a court.”