Semi-retired Higherford engineer hit with £5,000 legal bill

A SEMI-retired engineer who put more than 700 potentially dangerous LPG adapters on the market has been left with a £5,000 legal bill.

Alan Middleton was ‘very foolish’ in offering adapters, allowing motorists to fill containers with the fuel at service stations, for sale via eBay, despite warnings from Lancashire trading standards, Preston Crown Court heard.

Middleton, 60, of Barnoldswick Road, Higherford, had admitted designing an unsafe product, not providing adequate instructions for the adapter’s use and not including markings identifying himself as the manufacturer, and was committed for crown court sentence by Preston magistrates.

He was fined £2,500, and ordered to pay the county council’s costs of £2,500, alongside a £15 victim surcharge.

Passing sentence, Judge Anthony Russell QC, Recorder of Preston, said Middleton had been ‘very foolish to put these on the market without checking the regulations and you should have had the items independently tested’.

An earlier hearing before magistrates was told that a similar adapter, not linked to Middleton, had caused a gas fire at a Rossendale service station, resulting in a man suffering severe burns.

Speaking after the case, Coun Janice Hanson, the county’s public protection cabinet member, said: “What Alan Middleton was doing could have potentially exposed his customers to extremely serious risk of injury or even death.

"His hand-tighten LPG propane gas bottle filling adaptor was apparently designed to allow consumers to refill portable gas bottles, such as Calorgas bottles, at any fuel station with an LPG pump. This is extremely dangerous and should never happen.

"It beggars belief that Mr Middleton could have sold such an unsafe product. Records show that even before 2009, trading standards had advised Mr Middleton about safety concerns.

“Despite receiving advice from trading standards officers, he continued to sell his dangerous LPG adapters.”

Comments (3)

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12:28am Fri 6 Dec 13

Graham Hartley says...

Was Mr Middleton's device entirely without merit? Rather unfortunate, isn't it, that a similar design not due to this fellow was given prominence in this report. That trading standards officers were so concerned will make little impact upon the public mind, which is so arrayed against the importance of officers of any sort.
Was Mr Middleton's device entirely without merit? Rather unfortunate, isn't it, that a similar design not due to this fellow was given prominence in this report. That trading standards officers were so concerned will make little impact upon the public mind, which is so arrayed against the importance of officers of any sort. Graham Hartley

8:40pm Fri 6 Dec 13

PhilipCohen says...

Regardless, shill bidding fraud is endemic on most nominal-start auctions by professional sellers on eBay, and eBay Inc. is demonstrably the greatest knowing and calculated facilitator of such fraud on consumers that the world is ever likely to know, and I expect there will be a trickle down effect to all other eBay operations ...

The ugly reality of eBay Inc.:
eBay's crooked auctions marketplace ... http://bit.ly/11F2ea
s
eBay Motors: Auction Fraud Galore … http://bit.ly/I2gTEU
eBay's clunky, unscrupulous "PreyPal" ... http://bit.ly/UVXx53
The ongoing joke of eBay Inc. ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg
Fun quotes from the eBay executive suite ... http://bit.ly/12xvzy
A
Regardless, shill bidding fraud is endemic on most nominal-start auctions by professional sellers on eBay, and eBay Inc. is demonstrably the greatest knowing and calculated facilitator of such fraud on consumers that the world is ever likely to know, and I expect there will be a trickle down effect to all other eBay operations ... The ugly reality of eBay Inc.: eBay's crooked auctions marketplace ... http://bit.ly/11F2ea s eBay Motors: Auction Fraud Galore … http://bit.ly/I2gTEU eBay's clunky, unscrupulous "PreyPal" ... http://bit.ly/UVXx53 The ongoing joke of eBay Inc. ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg Fun quotes from the eBay executive suite ... http://bit.ly/12xvzy A PhilipCohen

8:41pm Fri 6 Dec 13

ABrown0004 says...

Looks like 700 people will be buying cheap LPG instead of very expensive Calorgas who have a vested interest in this
Looks like 700 people will be buying cheap LPG instead of very expensive Calorgas who have a vested interest in this ABrown0004

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