A TANNING shop owner has admitted supplying dangerous sunbeds to customers.

Graeme Trevor Carlton, who ran Golden Brown Sunbeds in Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to six charges when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

The court heard sunbeds provided by the company were condemned due to safety concerns.

The case dates back to April 2018 when Hartlepool Council’s trading standards team was contacted by colleagues in North Yorkshire following a complaint about the safety of a home hire vertical sunbed supplied by Golden Brown Sunbeds.

Read more: Giant Hogweed: Map shows where toxic plant growing in North East

The consumer reported the sunbed as being rusty with a nail holding the hinges together, with filthy bulbs that looked like they had never been changed.

An electrical expert inspected the sunbed and condemned it as dangerous after finding that it contravened the electrical equipment safety regulations.

Both trading standards teams tried to discuss their safety concerns with Carlton, but it was apparent that he had little or no interest in complying with regulations, Hartlepool Council said.

The Northern Echo:

Amid fears that he was putting the public at risk of serious injury or fire, a recall notice was served on him and the company in July 2018 demanding they recall their sunbeds.

But the company continued to trade in home hire sunbeds in breach of the notice.

Hartlepool Trading Standards decided to undertake a test purchase and hire a sunbed which was delivered to an address in Hartlepool on October 11, 2018.

The sunbed was sent for testing and failed to comply with several separate safety regulations. A report confirmed that it was at risk of overheating and that the cable inner insulation had been cut, giving direct access to live conductive parts of 230 volts. Voltage as low as 50 volts can be potentially fatal.

Carlton was obstructive and showed no interest in engaging with either local authority, prompting Hartlepool Borough Council to publish an Important Safety Warning regarding the recall on Carlton’s home hire sunbeds.

Despite legal cases, the company continued to offer to supply home hire sunbeds on Facebook.  Hartlepool Trading Standards carried out a further test purchase and a sunbed was supplied to the team on November 27, 2019.

Carlton delivered the bed in person despite claiming he had ceased trading. This sunbed was examined by a qualified electrical engineer and found to contravene many separate safety regulations.

Carlton admitted four charges under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 and two more under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

The 54-year-old, of Forester Close, Hartlepool, is due to be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court on September 22.

Read more: Darlington Race for Life to take place this month - here's everything you need to know 

Following the hearing, Rachael Readman, senior trading standards officer at Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “This has been a protracted case, partly as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the legal system.”

“We are pleased to have been able to finally bring it to a successful conclusion and it demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety of the general public.”

Anyone  with concerns about the safety of a home hire sunbed in the town should contact Hartlepool Trading Standards on (01429) 523362.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054