18th August 2023

Shopkeeper fined for knock-off chocs

A sweet shop owner has been fined for selling chocolate bars with fake brand labels.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

A sweet shop owner who sold counterfeit chocolate bars has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 after being prosecuted by Powys County Council Trading Standards.

Alan Price, trading as Mollies Sweet Shops, applied the ‘Wonka’ logo – a registered trade mark – onto chocolate bar labels which he then supplied to his shops in Newtown, Ludlow, Telford and Chester.

One of the fake chocolate bars seized by Powys Trading Standards

Price also failed to provide allergen information on the labels in the correct format, posing a safety risk to people allergic to milk and soya.

A Trading Standards Officer had offered advice and guidance to the business on numerous occasions and had given many chances for Mollies to comply with the law. The Officer subsequently learned that the same product was found being offered for sale outside of Wales, despite assurances from the business that all ‘Wonka’ bars had been removed from sale in all Mollies shops.

On August 16 at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court, Price pleaded guilty to ten charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Food Information (Wales) Regulations 2014.

Price was fined £7,200 for the offences and ordered to pay £3,000 costs and a £190 victim surcharge.

Councillor Richard Church, Cabinet Member for a Safer Powys, said: “This case demonstrates the value of the work that Trading Standards does. It is their aim to protect members of the public who suffer from allergies; at the same time Trading Standards are protecting brand holders to ensure a wider resilient and healthy economy. Despite attempts by Trading Standards to provide advice and guidance to the business owner, this was ignored, which is why this case was brought to court.”

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