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Woman guilty of selling counterfeit goods

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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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Man denies £7,000 burglary

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A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.

Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.

Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.

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Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings

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CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.

The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.

To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsultation where they can adapt and send the e-mail. People can also watch a video showing some of the feline victims of air gun shootings, which some may find upsetting.

Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.

Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.

However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.

“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.

“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.

“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”

Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.

The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.

Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.

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Police crack down on drink and drug driving

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NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.

98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.

“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”

In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.

Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.

To submit footage to any of the four Welsh Police Forces, visit https://gosafesnap.wales/ or https://gosafesnap.cymru.

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