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Isle of Man Government Office of Fair Trading

Non-Resident Trader Prosecuted for Breaching Safety Regulations

Further to advice given to local consumers earlier this year, the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading (‘the OFT’) has prosecuted a non-resident trader for breaching safety regulations.

In July, the OFT issued a warning concerning ‘memory foam’ mattresses being sold through the classified advertisements in the local newspapers that might not meet safety regulations.

Two examples of the mattresses concerned had been purchased by enforcement officers and samples taken from the mattresses were submitted for analysis. Based on the samples submitted, the filling material used in one of the mattresses failed a fire safety test.

On Tuesday 13th November 2012, Neil John Young aged 62 of Lancaster was sentenced to six weeks imprisonment suspended for two years for selling the unsafe mattress and to four weeks imprisonment also suspended for two years for trading without a non-resident traders licence.

Mr Young had pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.

The Chief Inspector of Trading Standards, John Peet, said:

“Whilst the mattresses may have appeared to be very heavily discounted bargains they were in reality potential death traps.

Traceability is of paramount importance when it comes to ensuring the safety of consumer goods and that there were obvious concerns about the safety of the mattresses as they did not carry any manufacturer’s details and were sold by a non-resident itinerant trader out of a van.

It stated on a label on the mattresses that they complied with ‘Current Fire Safety Regulations’ but this statement has been proven to be seriously misleading.

The sentences reflect the seriousness of the offences.”

David Quirk MHK, the Chairman of the OFT, said:

“Consumers should deal with genuine traders, for example the local shops, when purchasing beds, mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows rather than running the risk of ending up with a potential death trap by dealing with rogue doorstep traders offering such products at ‘too good to be true’ prices. Genuine traders will be aware of the relevant safety requirements.”

Photographs of the mattresses:


The OFT has already taken steps to trace local consumers who have purchased similar mattresses but anyone who has purchased a mattress similar to the ones shown in the photographs through the classifieds in the local newspapers should contact Trading Standards on 686520 for advice.

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