A NATIONAL retailer has been fined £30,000 after glideboards on sale at one of its stores were found to pose a risk of electrocution.

North Yorkshire County Council prosecuted B&M Retail, which also has more than 30 outlets in the North-East and North Yorkshire, after buying two of the boards from its Northallerton branch in December 2015, when they were said to be a "must-have Christmas present".

The council’s tests on the boards - also known as hoverboards and similar to electrically propelled skateboards with wheels - demonstrated the electronics could have posed a danger to users.

At Leeds Crown Court B&M Retail pleaded guilty to an offence under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations relating to the boards sold at the store.

The court heard one of the boards was submitted to a test house for examination and it was found that the charging unit had no cut-off device to prevent the battery overcharging.

Further problems were found with the plug and fuse, which could have posed a fire hazard. There was also insufficient separation between the mains input circuit and the low voltage output circuit in the power supply, which created a risk of electrocution.

Sentencing, Judge Neil Clarke said: “It is clear that the company had not simply ignored its obligations as they had testing pre- and post-marketing of the product, but the items tested seem to have been different to those in the shops. There was a combination of errors by the suppliers and the reality was that the product should have been checked again.”

B & M Retail Ltd was told the starting point for the fine was £40,000, but it was reduced to £30,000 in recognition of its early guilty plea. The company was also ordered to pay the full prosecution costs of £10,763.

County councillor Andrew Lee, portfolio holder for trading standards, said: “Consumers are entirely reliant on importers and retailers to ensure that products they buy are safe and will not pose a hazard to them, their families or their property. In this case, officers acted swiftly to suspend the glideboards from sale to safeguard the public and I am pleased that the fine imposed by the court reflects the risks that were present.”

A B&M spokesman said: “In 2015 there was an industry-wide safety issue with the chargers of a novelty product called a hoverboard. This risk of overheating affected 90 per cent of all such products sold by most major UK retailers. At the time, B&M recalled all its stock immediately. We regret the incident, but are pleased that our prompt product recall meant that none of B&M’s hoverboard chargers have caused any actual damage, harm or injury.”