Hadleigh businessman guilty of selling unsafe goods wins appeal to reduce fines

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

A Suffolk businessman convicted of selling unsafe medical equipment and children’s scooters has won a reduction in the costs he must pay.

Colin Louch, 61, of Coram Street, Hadleigh, appeared on Friday at Ipswich Crown Court, to appeal against the £45,878 in costs he was told to pay by magistrates after convictions on four charges.

Mr Recorder Ian Evans, sitting with two magistrates, heard legal submissions for both sides and ruled the amount Louch should pay should now be £25,000.

An appeal against conviction earlier this year reduced the amount in fines that Louch had been told to pay.

He had been found guilty of importing from China goods on which there had been no safety checks and which failed to comply with consumer safety legislation.

The case was brought by Suffolk Trading Standards.

Giving evidence during the appeal, Louch said he did not have sufficient resources to send staff to China to ensure the safety certificates supplied were genuine.

Louch said he had no reason to doubt the goods were safe and had trusted his supplier in China.

During last year’s hearing at Bury St Edmunds magistrates court, the prosecution said test purchases of items marketed by Louch, including a stethoscope, blood pressure monitor and child’s scooter, showed they did not comply with the legal standards to go on sale in the UK.

The same investigation also involved officials visiting a warehouse in Ipswich used by Louch where, it was claimed, children’s scooters which posed a risk of finger crushing, skin puncture and asphyxiation from the packaging, were discovered.