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Dangerous fake motor racing harnesses uncovered

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Carmarthenshire County Council Lead Trading Standards Officer Aled Thomas and Executive Board Member for Public Protection Cllr Jim Jones, pictured with one of the counterfeit Sparco harnesses that have failed controlled safety tests (pic Jeff Connell)

A PEMBREY man admitted selling fake harnesses to amateur and semi-professional racing car drivers at Swansea Crown Court this week.

Finbar Hannaford, aged 22, sold more than 300 of the enhanced seatbelt systems before Carmarthenshire County Council’s trading standards officers stepped in.

The counterfeit harnesses bearing the Sabelt, Sparco and Takata brand names, were sold on eBay and Facebook, amongst a range of counterfeit car accessories and clothing.

A similar counterfeit harness failed in controlled safety test conditions at a speed of just 50mph.

The harness failed on several points, indicating that in a real life situation – and under normal use – it could cause death or serious injury.

The counterfeit harness under test was branded as Sparco, and at the time, trading standards officers warned that there was a ‘real risk’ that the counterfeit Sabelt and Takata harnesses could also similarly fail.

At least one is thought to have snapped.

Hannaford, of Maes yr Awel, appeared before Judge Keith Thomas at Swansea crown court on Monday (Feb 6) for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

He admitted participating in a fraudulent business between Aug 1, 2014 and July 18, 2015 by selling racing harnesses which were either counterfeit or dangerous.

Lee Reynolds, prosecuting, said the products gave the impression of being Italian made but had in fact been imported directly from China.

Robin Rouch, the barrister representing Hannaford, said he accepted that the harnesses had not been genuine but he had believed them to be of good quality.

The harnesses are fitted to cars used for both rallying and circuit racing.

Judge Thomas said he would sentence Hannaford on March 31 after a hearing to determine the extent of his involvement in the fraud.

Hannaford was granted bail meanwhile but warned by Judge Thomas that a prison sentence could be the eventual outcome.

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1 Comment

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  1. Finbars conscience

    April 20, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Sausage

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Council crews deal with fall-out of Storm Ophelia

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL staff had a busy afternoon and night dealing with the fall-out of storm Ophelia which battered the west coast.

The highways team dealt with 34 separate incidents throughout the county as extreme winds brought down trees, branches and electricity cables well into the early hours of this morning (Oct 17).

During the day the Met Office recorded winds of 75mph on Cefn Sidan sands, but the council received most calls during the evening, with the storm’s intensity seeming to peak between 4pm and 9pm.

Crews attended to clear fallen trees from Glandy Cross to Carmarthen, Llandovery to Llanelli where one tree fell onto a car in Vauxhall Street – thankfully with no injuries.

Electricity cables were brought down in St Clears with damage to property roofs in Water Street, Carmarthen, and Capel Hendre.

All routes were open this morning, but crews are now clearing debris along miles of road.

Cllr Hazel Evans, executive board member for environment, said: “Our frontline crews were out into the early hours of this morning in terrible conditions to clear and re-open roads. Back at base, our duty officers, contact centre staff and Careline agents also dealt with a large number of calls from members of the public. I’d like to thank all staff for their efforts, as well as farmers, landowners and police who helped throughout the storm.”

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Two hospitalised and dogs cut free after crash

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TWO people have been taken to Morriston Hospital following a crash in the early hours of this morning (Oct 17).

Fire crews also had to cut two dogs free from the wreckage following the collision, which involved a 4×4 vehicle.

The collision took place between Pencader and Llandysul shortly after 1am.

A spokesperson for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We received a call at 1.14am this morning to reports of a traffic collision three miles outside Pencader.

“Fire crews from Carmarthen and Llandysul had to release two dogs from the vehicle using small gear, a short extension ladder and lighting equipment.”

A spokesperson for the Welsh Ambulance Service added: “We sent two crews in emergency ambulances and a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle and two patients were taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.”

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Rugby player left needing surgery

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A RUGBY player was left needing surgery after an unprovoked attack left him with a broken jaw.

Chris Rogers was in action for Ferryside against Pontardawe in a League 3 West Central C game on Saturday, October 14, when the incident occurred.

The Herald understands that a scuffle had broken out between a few other players towards the end of their match and that Chris was standing away from this.

It is alleged that a Pontardawe player came from behind and attacked Chris. He was treated at the scene and taken to Morriston Hospital.

Chris had surgery on Sunday night and the Herald were told that he was allowed home from hospital on Monday (Oct 16). His face is still swollen and he is still in shock from the incident.

Pontardawe’s secretary has called to see how the player is doing.

It was the first time the two sides have played each other and there was no apparent reason behind the alleged attack.

The police have also been informed of the incident.

Chris had to have a plate and wiring put in his jaw and the doctors have told him not to play again.

Ferryside Coach Nathan Jones told the Herald that Chris is totally ‘against violence’ and that it was very sad that this sort of thing had happened to him.

Chris and the Club have received much support from the wider community with a number of people saying that there is no place in rugby for something like this.

The Herald wishes Chris a full recovery from his injuries.

A spokesperson for South Wales Police told the Herald: “South Wales Police received a report of an assault on Sunday, October 15, at 09:46hrs, in connection with an incident the previous day (15:30hrs).

“Police are currently investigating the assault of the male. If witnesses have any information please contact 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 quoting occurrence: 1700401165.”

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