24th May 2022

Online counterfeits seller sentenced

A woman who sold counterfeit clothing on the internet has been sentenced to community service following a Dorset Trading Standards prosecution.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
The sale of counterfeit goods damages legitimate businesses and can confuse and mislead consumers

A woman from Sherborne, Dorset, has pleaded guilty of trade marking offences after being found with more than 300 items of counterfeit clothing in her van.

Following a prosecution brought by Dorset Council Trading Standards, Tracey Hampson was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work on May 18 at Weymouth Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to four offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994.

In March 2021 Hampson was stopped by police who discovered her van was loaded with clothing and footwear which they suspected was counterfeit. The police seized the goods and passed them to Dorset Council Trading Standards to investigate.

Trading Standards Officers obtained evidence from the trade mark owners that the goods were illegal copies. A total of 322 items were seized, mainly clothing as well as some footwear with some cosmetics and handbags.

In interview Hampson told officers that she had obtained the goods from market traders in London and Bristol and believed that they were genuine. She had sold some through Facebook but her main outlet was through an eBay shop. She had ceased trading after the seizure. In sentencing, the magistrates took account of Hampson’s difficult personal circumstances.

Martin Thursby, Principal Trading Standards Officer at Dorset Council, said, “The maximum penalty for selling counterfeit goods is 10 years’ imprisonment. Anyone tempted to sell counterfeit goods over the internet should be aware of this.”

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said: “The sale of counterfeit goods damages legitimate businesses, including local retailers selling genuine products and can confuse and mislead consumers. Our Trading Standards team will take action against sellers of counterfeit goods and those involved should be aware that significant penalties can follow.”

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