Harpreet Singh admitted a string of trademark and safety offences when he appeared before Teesside Magistrates on Tuesday (August 1).
The court heard the 31-year-old was selling lighters appearing to represent large brands including BMW, Liverpool Football Club, Manchester City Football Club, Zippo and Jack Daniels.
This could mislead a consumer into believing the products had been endorsed by the brand holder and were by default safe and manufactured to the exacting standards expected of such well-known and respected brands.
In addition, a number of the seized items were deemed to be novelty lighters - a watch, binoculars, a small toy gun and a small sword - which are banned due to their appeal to children.
Safety standards for lighters are essential for a number of reasons including the close proximity of a naked flame to the user’s face, and it is therefore critical that regulations for such items are observed.
Harpreet Singh, of Falkland Street, Middlesbrough pleaded guilty to a total of 18 charges, including five related to trademark offences and a further 13 related to product safety.
The case was adjourned to Tuesday, September 5 when sentencing options will be considered.
Middlesbrough Council Principal Trading Standards Officer Jim McCluskey said: “Safety standards are in place to protect the public and in this case the trader had not taken any steps to check the lighters complied with the requirements and were not appealing to children.
“The presence of trademarks of reputable organisations may have further misled the public into believing the goods were approved by leading brands, with the expectation that they had been tested to stringent safety standards.”
Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Our officers monitor all goods offered for sale in Middlesbrough against safety regulations.
“They are available to offer advice and guidance to any trader who requires it – in this case this has now been given and we are confident that the advice will be followed.”