A TRADER who sold more than 100 mattresses that failed fire safety standards has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Patrick Furlong, of Portchester Road in Bournemouth, was found guilty by magistrates of supplying two mattresses and possessing 213 mattresses for sale which did not meet the requirements of the British Standard for fire safety.

The defendant, 41, was also found guilty of an offence under the General Product Safety Regulations as he was unable to identify his supplier of the mattresses to the trading standards service.

He was given a suspended sentence of 18 weeks in total and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and £500 costs.

Officers from Dorset County Council’s trading standards saw mattresses for sale on online sites Gumtree and eBay which they suspected may not comply with fire safety standards.

Two mattresses were bought and tested. The results of the testing showed that once ignited they did not self-extinguish and the fire had to be manually put out.

Following seizure of Furlong’s stock tests showed that all but 12 of 125 mattresses failed the fire safety standard. When questions about who sold him the goods Furlong was unable to offer any details.

Magistrates sitting at Bournemouth told the defendant he had put public safety at risk through the "very serious matter".

Martin Thursby, principal trading standards officer for Dorset County Council said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of the case, as the court took these safety matters very seriously.

"We would advise consumers only to buy goods subject to safety legislation, such as these, from reputable suppliers.

"We would also advise traders who are considering dealing with such goods to contact their local trading standards service who will be able to offer advice and guidance.”