Christmas Shop owner fined for selling dodgy gearBy Becky Barnes
November 21, 2012
A businessman who opened a seasonal shop selling dodgy and dangerous novelty items in Bracknell town centre has been ordered to pay more than £2,500.
Wayne Whittle, 49, of Binstead Hill in the Isle of Wight, appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on Friday, October 19, after admitting two counts of selling counterfeit goods and two relating to the sale of unsafe goods.
Trading Standards officers seized a number of items after Whittle opened the Christmas Shop in Charles Square for the festive period at the end of 2011.
Toy skateboards were among stock confiscated on safety grounds and tests on giant lighters revealed they could explode if dropped and would melt or distort when used.
Whittle, who specialises in running gift shops, had already been warned about the danger of the giant lighters in summer 2011 by Isle of Wight Trading Standards.
The shop also offered fake ‘Ped Egg’ and ‘Snuggie’ items, which Whittle had received a warning about by Surrey County Council in 2009.
John Nash, trading standards team manager at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “Mr Whittle had been selling unsafe counterfeit goods in seasonal shops around the South East of England.
“We are pleased with the fines imposed on Mr Whittle and his business and we hope this goes as a warning to any businesses in the area who might be selling counterfeit goods.”
Whittle was fined £500 and ordered to pay £15 victim surcharge. His company Matrix Retail Limited, of which he is a director, was ordered to pay £1,000 fines, £15 victim surcharge and £1,000 prosecution costs.
Cllr Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said: “Christmas is just around the corner and now is the time that gift shops start appearing in our towns.
“Our trading standards team carry out many test purchases in shops around the borough but if residents do see something suspicious in shops, please make contact with trading standards.”
Call trading standards on (01344) 352 000 or visit www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/consumeradvice to report something online.