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Woman guilty of selling counterfeit goods

A WOMAN who was selling counterfeit goods on Facebook was sentenced last month.

Kirsty Marie Baker pleaded guilty at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on April 24 to 20 offences relating to the sale of counterfeit goods.

Barker, currently residing at Llanon, was investigated after being spotted offering a wide range of cheap branded goods for sale on Facebook just before Christmas last year.

The Trading Standards Service of Ceredigion County Council searched her premises and found a variety of fake Nike, Adidas, Boss, Gucci, The North Face, Ellesse and Ugg clothing and footwear stored in her home. A list of customers, orders and her expected profits was also found.

Barker was summonsed for offences contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The offences related to the exposure and possession for sale of counterfeit goods, and obstructing an officer executing the search warrant at her home on December 14, 2016.

Barker was sentenced to a curfew order monitored by electronic tag requiring her to remain at home for three months between 7:30pm and 7:30am, and 15 days of victim awareness and thinking skills training. She was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85 and the council costs of £750.

A forfeiture and destruction order was made for the goods seized. The notes seized from Barker at the time of the search indicated that the counterfeits had cost £1,200 to buy.

The Chair of the Bench of Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court told Barker that the exploitation of trade marks is a serious offence, so serious that a custodial sentence could have been imposed. However, the community order sentence was given taking Barker’s early guilty plea into consideration.

A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: “Aberystwyth and the county of Ceredigion is an area which generates intellectual property, being the home to two universities and numerous creative industries. It is an area that prides itself on provenance and any commerce that undermines the value of intellectual property and creativity also undermines one of the foundations of trade in the county.

“Trade in counterfeit goods creates an unfair playing field for reputable traders selling genuine goods, as well as threatening jobs and livelihoods. Anyone thinking of selling counterfeit goods risks financial loss, an appearance in court and punishment.”

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Jon Coles

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