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Counterfeit clothing seller £18,000 worse off

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 23/07/2012

In February 2012, Balvinder Singh of Westbourne Road pleaded guilty to two charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 when he appeared before Northavon Magistrates’ Court. The case was then passed to Bristol Crown Court for sentencing in March when Singh was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

Proceedings were also instigated under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and when Singh again appeared at Bristol Crown Court in early July it was disclosed that he had made a benefit of £11,000 from selling counterfeit clothing.

He was ordered to repay this figure within six months and told that if he failed to do so he would serve seven months in prison and still have to pay the stated amount.

In addition Singh was also order to pay £7,000 towards prosecution costs within 12 months.

The case was taken by South Gloucestershire Council’s Trading Standards service after it received intelligence that Filton market was a hub for counterfeit trading. An officer attended and purchased a pair of Evisu jeans and a Lyle and Scott pullover from market stalls operated by Balvinder Singh. Both items were subsequently confirmed to be counterfeit by the brand holders concerned.

Singh, who has previous convictions relating to possession of counterfeit goods dating back to 2007 and 2009, has been warned to change his behaviour.

Chair of the council’s Communities Committee, Claire Young said: “Investigations like this protect consumers as well as protecting legitimate businesses.

“The scale of the financial penalty demonstrates that the courts take a dim view of this activity, particularly in our current economic climate.”

Neil Derrick, Senior Enforcement Officer with South Gloucestershire Trading Standards, said: “This case has been effective in removing the financial benefit Mr Singh derived from his criminal actions and, including prosecution costs, his total financial burden stands at £18,000.

“I hope this acts as a deterrent to all those considering, or engaging in criminal activity as their income source. Mr Singh has learnt the hard way that crime does not pay.”

Anyone wishing to report counterfeit sales activities in the strictest confidence can do so by contacting Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06.

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