A trader selling illegal teddy bears outside the Tower of London has been ordered to pay nearly £20,000 after it was discovered the toy’s inadequately anchored eyes presented a choking hazard.

Tower Hamlets Council seized a number of the toys from a souvenir business supplied by B&S Supplies and discovered that their eyes could be easily pulled off by small children.

This is contrary to European safety standards, which states small parts have to be fixed to withstand a standard tension test.

The council was alerted to the classic London souvenir toys, dressed as Beefeaters, police officers and Tower of London guards, by its Westminster colleagues.

B&S Souvenir Supplies Ltd, based in Waltham Forest , claimed the bears’ Chinese manufacturer had informed them they were safety-compliant.

However in a case at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, October 8, the court ruled that the trader and its director had failed to meet its responsibility to carry out its own tests on the products and were in breach of the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

B&S Supplies was fined £12,700 and its director was ordered to personally pay costs of £3,500 after they were found to be importing the hazardous bears for over a year

Cabinet member for community safety cllr Shiria Khatun said: “Our trading standards team do great work in ensuring that residents are protected from unsafe products, and that everyone can be confident in the quality and honesty of the goods they buy.

"Whilst it’s regrettable that these bears were allowed on the market in the first place, the swift action of our staff to help bring those responsible to justice is commendable.”

Anyone with suspicions about the way a business operates, should report it to the council’s Consumer and Business Regulations service on 020 7364 5008 or trading.standards@towerhamlets.gov.uk .