Hadleigh businessman loses appeal against conviction for selling unsafe goods

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

A Hadleigh businessman has lost an appeal against his conviction last year for selling unsafe medical equipment and children’s scooters.

Colin Louch, 61, was last year ordered by Bury St Edmunds magistrates to pay almost £51,000 in fines and court costs, after being found guilty of four separate offences in a case brought against him by Suffolk Trading Standards.

Today, following an appeal hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, Mr Recorder Ian Evans, sitting with two magistrates, upheld Louch’s convictions.

However, the fines that Louch had been ordered to pay by the magistrates court were reduced to £2,000 from £2,500.

The court heard that Louch, of Coram Street, Hadleigh, had been found guilty of importing from China goods on which there had been no safety checks and which had failed to comply with consumer safety legislation.

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

Louch said he had no reason to doubt that 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 that test purchases of items marketed by Louch, including a stethoscope, a blood pressure monitor and a child’s scooter, revealed that the goods did not comply with the relevant legal standards to be offered for sale in the UK.

The same investigation by Suffolk Trading Standards 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.