Sports firm fined for jumper strangle risk

A SPORTSWEAR company has been fined for selling hooded tops for children that could have strangled them.

Roddy Ashworth

A SPORTSWEAR company has been fined for selling hooded tops for children that could have strangled them.

The Lonsdale tops were seized from the Sports World store in Chelmsford in January after Essex trading standards officers found they contained hood cords that posed a “serious strangulation risk” to children.

Sports World and Lonsdale are both part of Sports Direct Ltd.

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The Children's Clothing (Hood Cord) Regulations of 1976 state that outer garments measuring 44cm or less across the widest part of the chest should not contain hood cords.

The prosecution followed previous advice given to Sports Direct by trading standards officers in December 2008, which resulted in Lonsdale children's hooded tops being voluntarily removed from sale.

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However similar garments were on sale when Trading Standards visited the Sports World store the next month.

Following the seizure, Sports Direct Ltd was interviewed formally to discuss their processes and procedures in relation to consumer safety.

The company initially disputed that hooded tops were outer garments for the purposes of the regulations and, because of this, were not subject to the legal requirements.

However, the company later pleaded guilty in court.

Magistrates fined the company �1,500 for the offences and ordered them to pay �2,660 in prosecution costs plus a �15 victim surcharge. The total payable was �4,175.

Tracey Chapman, the cabinet member for environment and waste said: “Trading Standards aims to help businesses to understand and comply with the law where possible, but we will not hesitate to take action against any company that persists in breaching safety legislation.

“All traders have a responsibility to ensure that the goods they sell are safe, especially those that are intended for children.”

The case was heard at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on October 5.

Nobody from Sports Direct Ltd was available for comment.

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