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Garden centre to pay almost £25,000 for selling unsafe scatter cushions

The company which runs Hornsea Garden Centre has been fined for selling unsafe scatter cushions.

Woodthorpe Hall Garden Centres Ltd, of Woodthorpe, Alford, Lincolnshire, has been fined a total of £18,000 after pleading guilty to six charges of breach of Regulation 11 of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, contrary to Section 12(1) of the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

The charges related to the sale of scatter cushions, designed for indoor use for sofas, beds etc. There were nine designs in total on sale at Hornsea Garden Centre, Hornsea Road, Sigglesthorne.

A representative of the company pleaded guilty to the charges at Beverley Magistrates’ Court on 31st January, 2024.

The company was fined £3,000 for each charge, and ordered to pay costs of £4,854, and a victim surcharge of £2,000. The cushions were forfeited and destroyed.

The court heard that on 17th April, 2023, East Riding of Yorkshire Council trading standards officers carried out a routine inspection at Hornsea Garden Centre, during which a display of non-labelled cushions was identified. Two were taken away for further inspection.

Officers returned to Hornsea Garden Centre to collect the remaining cushions, of which there were 118.

Samples of the cushions were sent off for flammability testing at Fire International Ltd and the test results were received, showing that all the samples failed the flammability testing.

Daniel Padgham, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s trading standards manager, said :  “These cushions were very dangerous and posed a serious fire risk to those who had bought them.

“The company involved in this case is an experienced trader which failed in its obligations in relation to the safety regulations when simple physical checks would have revealed the inadequate labelling of the products.

“I would urge anyone buying items such as cushions and soft furnishings to ensure they have the correct safety labels attached so they know the items they are taking into their homes are safe. 

“The council does, and will continue to, take robust action when the safety of consumers is put at risk due to hazards from unsafe goods”

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