Type=image;ImageID=13395;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Microwave covered in bird poo;TitleClass=strong;
Type=image;ImageID=13396;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Dangerous tumble dryers;TitleClass=strong;
Type=image;ImageID=13397;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=East and West Aid;TitleClass=strong;
Harbans Lal, the owner of East and West Aid, of Moor Street South, Blakenhall, appeared before Wolverhampton Magistrates today (Thursday 20 July).
Lal, aged 54, of Regent Road, Penn, pleaded guilty to breaching consumer protection and unfair trading regulations. The company itself, also a registered charity, faced an identical charge and pleaded guilty.
Lal was fined £200 and also ordered to pay costs of £2,622.
The court heard that City of Wolverhampton Council's Trading Standards team visited East and West Aid on several occasions last year.
Officers, accompanied by a qualified electrician, carried out safety checks on items that were for sale.
They found various unsafe items including cookers with missing panels, faulty plugs, a dented microwave covered in bird poo with a door which did not close making it dangerous.
The team also found 9 tumble dryers of a type which had caused house fires elsewhere and required modification to make them safe. They had not been modified and were seized by Trading Standards officers.
After receiving advice from Trading Standards, the company claimed it had started to carry out safety checks on items it was selling and keeping records. However, when officers carried out a random test on a fridge/freezer listed in a book as having passed a test, its plug was found to have no clamp and exposed wires.
The council told the court that Lal and his employees were fully aware of their safety obligations, but chose to sell items which were dangerous and could have caused fires.
Trading Standards provided advice to Lal and the company on several occasions which was ignored.
District Judge Michael Wheeler, said the evidence the council uncovered was "damning" and concluded the shop claimed safety tests had been carried out when they had not.
Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for city environment, said: "This company has flagrantly ignored laws which exist to keep people safe. They have sold dangerous items which could have caused fires and they made up the results of safety tests to make a quick buck.
"The council's Trading Standards team has successfully prosecuted Lal and the company and the sentence handed down by the court sends out a message to other rogue traders that such behaviour will be rightly punished."
- released: Thursday 20 July, 2017