News item

Trader prosecuted for selling 'Olympic' unsafe toy bears

A trader who sold unsafe toy bears during the Olympic period has been prosecuted by Westminster City Council and fined a total of £8,700 ordered to pay costs of £5000 and pay £15 towards victims surcharge at Southwark Crown Court.  

The court heard that Novelty World Ltd and its Managing Director Ian Malpas supplied a number of soft toy bears to the grab machines situated at the Trocadero during the Olympics with a heart shaped Olympic symbol .  

Novelty World Ltd and Ian Malpas, 50 of Southport pleaded guilty to a total of 12 offences under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the Olympic Symbol etc (Protection) Act 1995 at Southwark Crown Court on 28th January 2014.   

The court heard that the company supplied the goods through an intermediary for the Trocadero. The company maintained that the goods were tested in China but it was accepted that the tests were not robust enough otherwise it would have revealed the fact that each of the products that trading standards submitted, failed in that the seam failed and exposed fibrous filling that was hazardous to a child.

His Honour Judge McCreath felt the situation was aggravated by the fact that once the company was informed that the toys supplied by them were unsafe they refilled the grab machines with more soft toys that trading standards subsequently had tested which also failed the safety tests.   

HH Judge McCreath said these offences were “very serious” and “these toys were not suitable for any child” and the safety labelling on the soft toys “were a complete waste”. 

Novelty World Ltd was fined £150 per Olympic symbol offence and £1000 per offence for breaching the toy safety regulations and ordered to pay £2,500 in court costs.  
The Managing Director Ian Malpas was fined £100 per Olympic symbol offence and £1000 per offence for breaching the toy safety regulations and ordered to pay £2,500 in court costs. A total of £ 13,500

All of the goods were forfeited for destruction.

Sue Jones, Operations Manager for Trading Standards, said, “the unauthorised Olympic symbol on these bears, an offence in itself, was there to entice consumers to purchase a keepsake from Westminster an Olympic borough. However, to supply these unsafe toys, even after being informed that they were unsafe was reprehensible. We are glad the judge agreed with us on that point with the level of penalty imposed”. 

Giles Speid, investigating officer said, “Mr Malpas refused to attend an interview and then resigned from the company days after being informed that the goods he supplied were unsafe, in order to avoid detection.  Neither action help him as the judge saw straight through it”.  


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Giles Speid at Westminster Trading Standards on 020 7641 2698.
DATE: 04 February 2014