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25 May 2011, 05:00
A company director has been fined £2,500, and ordered to pay full costs of nearly £7,500, for importing and selling unsafe toys.
Following a prosecution made by Suffolk Trading Standards, Mr Ian Ford, sole director of I.K.F International Ltd in Suffolk pleaded guilty at Bury Magistrates Court to 12 charges under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
Suffolk Trading Standards officers prosecuted Ian Ford when his company was found to be responsible for the distribution of seriously unsafe toys. Tests on the products showed that plastic toy guns and a bow and arrow set imported by the company failed to comply with toy safety standards. The suction cups on the arrows and darts could easily become detached and posed a choking risk for young children.
The toys, which were also not labelled with any warnings or instructions, were found being sold in a discount shop in Newmarket in May 2010 as part of a countywide product safety project. Further samples of toys imported by I.K.F. International Ltd also failed safety tests carried out by Worcestershire Regulatory Services after they discovered them being sold in their area in June 2010.
When deciding on the amount of the fine, the Magistrate said she had taken into account the serious nature of the risk. She also ordered that nearly 5000 toys seized from the company should be destroyed.
Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, said: "Suffolk Trading Standards take product safety extremely seriously particularly when it comes to toys. I am confident that this case will serve as a warning to other toys importers and retailers that unsafe toys will not be tolerated.
Mr Ford failed to ensure that the toys he imported and sold to UK retailers were safe, and as a direct consequence put children’s lives at serious risk of injury and death across the country.
If anyone has any concerns over the safety of the products they have purchased or have seen being sold, I would urge them to get in touch with Suffolk Trading Standards."