Dangerous travel adaptors sold by a Horsham store ‘could have killed someone’

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A store which sold dangerous travel adaptors from its shop in Horsham town centre has been fined £20,000.

The shop - Bags etc in Swan Walk, which has since closed - pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates Court following investigations by West Sussex Trading Standards.

The court heard how officers bought travel adaptors from the shop last January following concerns over the safety of the products.

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said later: “Testing showed several safety failings including the risk of electric shock.”

Another Sussex shop - TK Maxx in Worthing - was also fined £20,000 for a similar offence.

County trading standards team manager Peter Aston said: “The seriousness of these offences is reflected in the fines these firms have been ordered to pay.

“These travel adaptors failed safety testing which means they could cause electrocution and potentially death to an unsuspecting user.

“We usually advise people to only buy electrical products from a recognised brand or high street retailer but as this case proves, that doesn’t always guarantee safety.”

County council leader Louise Goldsmith said after the hearing: “It is very worrying to see two big high street retailers selling these dangerous products.

“I am relieved that all the adaptors have been recalled and that the firms in question have been fined.

“It is of absolute importance that businesses thoroughly test any electrical products before they are sold.”

Both companies recalled the products once informed of the results of testing.

The county council said TK Maxx mistakenly treated the adaptors - imported from China - as ‘fashion accessories’ on their system which meant they were not subject to the store’s usual safety checks.

Anyone who has bought a travel adaptor and is concerned about its safety can contact Trading Standards by calling Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.