TRADING standards officials in Hartlepool have welcomed the prosecution of a company that imported dangerous baby dummies into the UK.
The issue came to light last year when a baby from the town was sucking on a dummy that fell apart – and only the swift action of the parent prevented a possible tragedy.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s trading standards department launched an investigation and found that the “Pretty Cherub” dummy had been imported into the UK by Bury-based Quest Personal Care and then sold via a local store.
The company pleaded guilty at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court to supplying a dangerous dummy contrary to the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
It was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,980.
Dan Briggs, senior trading standards officer at the council, said: “We are pleased that the court recognised the seriousness of this matter by imposing a significant fine on the company concerned.
“Children’s safety is paramount and while we do carry out routine product sampling we simply cannot check every product that is made available.
“Importers into the UK are legally obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their products meet national safety standards and in this case they failed to do so.”
Magistrates were told that the test certificate provided to Quest Personal Care by a supplier in China – which was meant to demonstrate that the dummies were safe – had in fact been forged, resulting in the dangerous product finding its way into the UK.
A national recall notice was issued last year, but anyone who may still have a “Pretty Cherub” dummy in their home is advised to dispose of it immediately.
The dummies were a budget range which came in a zip-closure plastic bag in the following colour combinations – pink and yellow, blue and yellow and yellow and blue.