In the Media

Owner of dangerous sunbed jailed

PUBLISHED June 5, 2006

The owner of a tanning company was jailed for 56 days after a woman suffered 65 per cent burns while using a faulty sunbed that she had hired from him.

Melanie Wraith, 35, was knocked unconscious when the canopy of the machine collapsed on her, giving her an electric shock. She came round almost three hours later after she started to vomit. Ms Wraith, from Leek, Staffordshire, raised the alarm but stopped breathing in the ambulance and had to be revived.

She hired the sunbed from Supertan, a company run by Terrence Howells, 51, from his home in Northwood, Stoke-on-Trent. He pleaded guilty to charges brought under the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations Act 1994 and the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Nicolas Cole, for the prosecution, told Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates? Court that Howells had no electrical qualifications and did not have the machines checked. He added: ?Ms Wraith spent two days in the burns unit and described what happened as the worst experience of her life.?

Howells, who bought the sunbeds second-hand through newspaper advertisements, is to appeal.