Shonky electrics sellers put on notice

Shopkeepers selling dodgy phone chargers have been warned they face hefty fines and possible jail sentences after a young mother-of-two was apparently electrocuted by a faulty USB charger.


Philippines-born Sheryl Andeguer was found dead in her NSW central coast home on April 23 with burns to her head, ears and chest.

It is believed she was wearing earphones, and was found lying near a smartphone and a plugged-in laptop.

Investigators believe a faulty USB charger that connected her phone to her computer may have sent 240 volts coursing through her body, but the matter is now before the coroner.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox says inspectors have recently found scores of unapproved, potentially dangerous goods, from travel adaptors to toy helicopters, in shops across the state.

Shopkeepers found selling unverified goods will face penalties ranging from on-the-spot $500 fines to two-year jail sentences, the minister warns.

“Ignorance is no excuse,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“We make no apologies for taking action against people who are selling potentially lethal items.”

Fair Trading inspectors will continue a blitz of raids on stores across metropolitan Sydney over the coming weeks.

Inspectors have already seized a number of dodgy goods from stores in Bankstown in Sydney’s west and Haymarket in the CBD this week, including a toy aeroplane found in a city shop that had an incompatible charger.

The owner of the Campsie phone accessories store suspected of selling Ms Andeguer the dodgy charger for $4.99 now faces possible prosecution and, if convicted, could spend up to two years behind bars or be hit with heavy fines.

The store is believed to have shut down since Fair Trading officials swooped last month to seize chargers, travel adaptors and power boards that did not meet safety standards.

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