Shop owner hit with £16,000 bill after raid on Stevenage store uncovers unsafe mobile phone chargers

A 25-year-old man from Baldock has been jailed after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woma

A 25-year-old man from Baldock has been jailed after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in the town while drunk. - Credit: Archant

A shop owner must pay more than £16,000 after he admitted supplying unsafe mobile phone chargers – uncovered in a trading standards raid on his Stevenage store.

St Albans magistrates heard on Wednesday that the Mighty Pound shop in Queensway, which has now closed, sold mobile phone chargers that lacked proper insulation, wiring and proper labelling, with an uninvolved company’s name placed on the items without authorisation.

Mighty Pound UK Ltd and its director Olayinka Olaniran Solomon, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts each of supplying the unsafe chargers and marketing them in a way likely to mislead customers.

The Stevenage shop was raided by Herts Trading Standards officers on October 14 last year, following a complaint.

After seizing 21 of the chargers, they advised the firm to remove others from sale, and informed trading standards authorities in the areas where Mighty Pound had five other outlets.

On November 6, 2015, a further 84 of the chargers were found on sale at the branch in Wood Green, London.

In mitigation Solomon, of Downsview Road in London, said he had put out adverts as part of a recall, learned his lesson and closed down two of the six stores.

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The magistrates, chaired by Andrew Birch, accepted that there was no evidence of anyone being injured and that Solomon was not actively involved in the purchasing and sales of the chargers.

They considered that someone could have been hurt and that there was a lack of purchasing checks and records, preventing traceability – but decided that in light of his previous good character he would not be disqualified as a director.

Mr Birch ordered him to pay £6,000 in fines, £852.39 in costs and a £1,200 victim surcharge – a total of £8,052.39.

The same penalties were imposed on Mighty Pound UK Ltd, making a total of £16,104.78 between Solomon and the company.

Richard Thake, responsible for community safety at the county council, said: “Consumers need to have confidence that products they buy are safe and authentic. These mobile phone charges are potentially dangerous – the court has recognised the seriousness of the offences and fined accordingly.”

If a member of the public thinks they may have purchased such a mobile phone charger, they are advised to stop using it. Should they wish to obtain a refund from the trader they can call 07980 302749.

Consumers can report safety concerns and receive advice by contacting Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.

Businesses can access advice from Herts Trading Standards on 01707 281401.