An investigation by Lincolnshire Trading Standards has resulted in the prosecution of Nihal Singh Chauhan, who admitted breaching 11 toy safety regulations and one charge of possession of criminal property.
The shop owner and manager was found to be selling unsafe toys which presented sharp parts, choking hazards and unsecured battery compartments, meaning children could access small ‘button’ batteries that could be swallowed.
Officers had concerns regarding a number of toys present including toy gun play sets and radio controlled cars. The offences were discovered during an inspection at the premises Smart Mobile on High Street, Skegness, by Lincolnshire Trading Standards.
A wide range of toys were also counterfeit and failed to comply with the legal labelling requirements to display CE Marks, English Labelling, Traceability and provide safety instructions.
Mr Chauhan has a history of similar offences and had failed to make any checks to ensure the goods were safe or legal to be sold despite previous warnings and advice provided by Trading Standards.
The court ordered that the matter was serious enough for a community order for 12 months with a requirement to perform 200 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £5,000 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £85.
A forfeiture order in favour of Lincolnshire Trading Standards to dispose of the items as they see fit was made in relation to all the goods seized.
Senior Trading Standards Officer Dan Brown said: “These toys presented serious safety hazards to children including choking and the ingestion of button batteries with the potential to cause extreme internal damage. This outcome should send a strong message that the supply of unsafe and black market goods is totally unacceptable.
“My advice to retailers is to always buy from reputable wholesalers and always check to ensure that toys are CE Marked, the manufactures or importers name and address are present and that they are labelled in English with the appropriate instructions for safe use as a minimum.”