Search

Children put at risk of poisoning

PUBLISHED: 14:05 27 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:06 03 July 2010

YOUNG children were put at risk from serious lead poisoning after a Yarmouth shop sold toy cars that had 98 times the permitted level of the metal, a court heard.

YOUNG children were put at risk from serious lead poisoning after a Yarmouth shop sold toy cars that had 98 times the permitted level of the metal, a court heard.

It is not known how many of the Chinese-made friction power sports cars were sold unwittingly by Pound World before and after Christmas of 2007.

Any youngsters who played with one of the cars would have been exposed to dangerously high levels of lead, which can cause sickness in mild cases and at worst comas.

And the £1 playthings also provoked a major health scare by having illegal levels of chromium, which can lead to cancer and serious skin and liver conditions.

After the cars were seized in February Norfolk County Council trading standards issued an urgent warning asking people to dispose of the toys if they had bought one for their children.

On Friday the importer of the Chinese toxic cars, David Raybould, pleaded guilty to seven counts of supplying goods prohibited by safety regulations and two charges of incorrectly labelling their boxes.

He was sentenced to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work for supplying the toys and made to pay £200 costs.

Yarmouth Magistrates' Court heard that Raybould, 45, of Wolverhampton, had imported 8,000 of the toys and had supplied some of them to Pound World in Regent Road.

Trading standards officers discovered the dangerous cars during a test purchase of 12 toys on January 24, and after tests revealed their poisonous content a further 73 were seized on February 26.

Aoife Lucking, prosecuting for trading standards said: “These are in the main not technical offences where levels are just slightly over the permitted limit - but 34, 40 and even 98 times higher than permitted by law.”

The worst case of lead levels was 8,841 parts per million - the European legal safety limit being 90 parts per million.

Chromium levels in the cars ranged from twice to five times higher

than permitted levels.

Mrs Lucking said: “He neither had safety checks carried out on any of the toys or demanded a safety certificate from the Chinese suppliers.”

Magistrates heard that Pound World had bought the toys in good faith and was unaware of any problems with them.

Since February Raybould's company Willenhall Imports Ltd had gone into liquidation and he now faces serious hardship.

His company was fined £12,000 by Merton Borough Council in London in 2006 for breaching the consumer protection act by incorrectly labelling goods.

Claire Collins, in mitigation, said: “He has learnt a very hard lesson. He has lost everything.”

After yesterday's hearing Sophie Leney, assistant head of trading standards, said: “We regularly undertake random safety testing of toys and theses cars were discovered as part of such a project.

“We would urge anyone who has, or suspects they have, one of the cars to dispose of it immediately.”

Other News

Yesterday, 18:07

An historic Great Yarmouth housing estate is in line for a multi-million pound makeover which will improve housing for more than 1,000 people and hopefully build new homes for a few more.

Yesterday, 17:05

Business owners have warned that people are too scared to go onto a town centre street amid fears of a rise in violence at weekends.

Yesterday, 17:01

American Football used cheerleaders, cricket turned to T20, and football had the short-lived Golden Goal.

They are two coastal towns that have evolved in recent years into trendy haunts throughout the summer months.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:05

Business owners have warned that people are too scared to go onto a town centre street amid fears of a rise in violence at weekends.

Read more
Twitter
Mon, 12:33

A road rage incident in Great Yarmouth saw a man leave his car and try and get into another driver’s car when it was stopped at traffic lights.

Read more
Mon, 15:17

A woman who was wanted by police on recall to prison has been found in Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Yesterday, 07:17

A woman thought she was going to die as her ex-partner stamped on her head twice and broke her nose, a court heard.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court
Mon, 17:24

Emergency services were called to Great Yarmouth town centre after a disused lamp post caught fire on Monday afternoon.

Read more
Rescue Service

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy