Court hands heavy penalty to Woodhall Spa manufacturer

Court news
Court news

A Woodhall Spa manufacturer has been sentenced to a 12-month Community Order to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay contribution costs of £3,500, along with a victim surcharge of £85.

Simon Capps, proprietor of the Wooden Letter Company Ltd, Mega Bunks and Imagination Bunkz, had previously entered guilty pleas to five offences under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

He was sentenced when he appeared at Lincoln Magistrates Court.

The conviction comes after a series of visits and warnings by Lincolnshire Trading Standards Officers and a trail of complaints from consumers across the country.

Mr Capps was manufacturing, advertising and selling children’s bunkbeds via social media which did not comply with the requirements of the British Standard.

A bunkbed acquired by Lincolnshire Trading Standards was tested against the British Standard for safety and failed in a number of areas including insufficient ventilation on the bed base and issues with the safety barrier.

There were no instructions, fixings or pre-drilled holes provided and no markings or warnings on the bunkbed stating that it complied, which confirmed many of the complaints from consumers.

Trading Standards Officers had provided advice and guidance to Mr Capps, however, the advice was not followed.

• When buying bunkbeds, consumers are advised to check the product has been tested to the British Standard and is marked accordingly. Where a bed claims compliance with the British Standard, instructions for assembly and safe use should be provided and always adhered to.

Beds should be clearly and permanently marked with the following information:

• Name, registered trade name, or registered trade mark of either the manufacturer, distributor or retailer;

• Maximum thickness of the mattress to be used with the bed. This can be in the form of text, a line on the bed at the correct height, or by other means;

• Either a text or a pictogram visible when in use as follows: Text on high beds: This high bed is not suitable for children under six years; or Text on each upper bed: This upper bed is not suitable for children under six years.

•The number and year of the European standard

If anyone is concerned about a bunkbed they have purchased please call the national Citizens Advice Bureau helpline on 03454 040506.