Fake goods warning as market trader is sentenced
Trading Standards are warning people to be vigilant for fake goods as the Christmas spending spree hots up.
Counterfeit products, they say, are generally poor quality, don't meet safety standards, and could be dangerous.
Their warning comes as market trader Chanel Lee was sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on 13 charges relating to counterfeit goods.
Judge Francis Sheridan gave 24-year-old Ms Lee a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, after she pleaded guilty to 13 offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 - that she had in her possession items bearing registered trademarks with a view to selling them.
Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards officers had seized 120 counterfeit products bearing 13 different brand names from her home in Cock Lane, High Wycombe, in March.
The haul of fake goods included five 'Chanel' handbags; a pair of 'Christian Louboutin' shoes; two 'Superdry' jumpers; a 'Tiffany' bracelet; four 'Adidas' tracksuits and one top; six 'Rolex' watches; two 'Louis Vuitton' handbags, 14 belts and a scarf; one 'Christian Dior' belt; four 'Kenzo' tops; two 'Hermes' belts and two handbags; 58 'Cartier' rings, one necklace, a pair of earrings and five authenticity cards; seven 'Gucci' handbags and two 'Barbour' jackets.
In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Judge Sheridan ordered Ms Lee to do 150 hours of unpaid work, and to pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs.
The Judge also banned her from advertising any products on a private profile online to allow Trading Standards to monitor her sales, to ensure she doesn't sell fake goods.
Judge Sheridan said: "This has got to be a clear warning to those who deal in fake items that there is a price to be paid. Intellectual property has been stolen from the owner."
Noel Brown, Buckinghamshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said cheap, counterfeit goods gave shoppers sub-standard quality and robbed legitimate manufacturers and traders of rightful income.
"I'm very concerned that our residents don't get taken in by traders who sell fake goods," he said. "Such products will generally not meet required safety standards, and that puts families at significant risk."
He warned shoppers to be wary about buying high value goods from unauthorised outlets, to watch for prices that are too good to be true, and to beware of cash-in-hand deals. Spelling mistakes on labels are also a give-away sign of fake products, he said.
"Do you really want to be the one to give a dodgy gift at Christmas?" says Noel.
IN THE PICTURE: Noel Brown: Counterfeit goods warning to residents