Nursery retailer and brand Mamas & Papas has been fined £20,000 for selling almost 150,000 unsafe car seats over a period of 39 months.
The Mercury car seats, which were sold by Argos, have been declared unsafe after a three-year investigation by Milton Keynes Council’s Trading Standards department, according to a recent report by Which?.
Mamas & Papas was ordered to pay a further £50,000 in costs to Milton Keynes Council, while profits of £275,000 will be seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The investigation also resulted in a 12-week jail sentence and confiscation of £236,000 profits for Christine Mitchell, director of car seat distributors Jeenay (UK) Ltd. Both parties pleaded guilty to supplying unsafe car seats.
“No parent will compromise the safety of their child,” said Judge Rochford during the hearing. “They are entitled to expect products they buy to accord with safety regulations…. Both defendants have let down parents and put children at risk.”
Sue Crawley, head of Trading Standards said: ‘We spent a lot of time investigating this case and hope the prosecution sends a message to other businesses large and small that Trading Standards takes a hard line on the supply of unsafe and potentially dangerous goods.’
Although the car seats were sold through Argos, the retailer – which issued an urgent and immediate recall – has not been accused of any wrongdoing in this matter.