Poundworld fined £63,000 for selling non-reflective high vis jackets

Tests revealed the jackets reflectivitiy was no more than 2.4 per cent of what it should have been

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The Independent Online

Poundworld has been fined over £63,000 for selling non reflective hi-vis jackets, sporting the logo "be safe, be seen".

Tests conducted by trading standards on one of the jackets revealed its reflectivitiy was no more than 2.4 per cent of what it should have been. The discount retailer had already sold more than 95,000 vests for £1 each.

Prosecutor Andrew Johnson said Joe Taylor, from Hertfordshire Trading Standards, had carried out tests on a hi-vis jacket purchased from PoundWorld.

The Daily Mail reports he told St Albans Crown Court: "Whilst the produce purported to be a high visibility safety vest, it was in fact no such thing.

"It was little more than an item of clothing."

Poundworld appeared for sentence last Friday, having pleaded guilty to two offences in engaging in misleading commercial practice at an earlier hearing.

Stan Reiz, defending, said the Chinese manufacturers of the vests had provided test certificates which were misleading to poundworld. 

He said: "The company admits it fell short of due diligence. It has now changed its policies and has increased its UK test centres."

Judge John Plumstead fined Poundworld £15,000 and ordered it to pay £42,395 in an agreed confiscation order, along with £6,123 in prosecution costs.

He said: "People would have gone out of the shop believing they had improved the safety of their children or themselves when out after dark on foot or on a bicycle.

"The fine demonstrates the court’s disapproval of those who put on the market safety aids that are not safety aids at all."

The jacket was withdrawn from sale in June last year and a national recall ordered in January this year.