A man who sold counterfeit goods from a relative’s address in Folkestone through Facebook has appeared in court, following a KCC Trading Standards investigation.
Richard Friend appeared before Canterbury Magistrates’ Court (on Tuesday 20 September) charged with14 Trade Mark offences and admitted selling counterfeit goods through his Facebook page.
The Trading Standards investigation was launched after a tip-off that Friend was selling counterfeit items via ‘Ricky’s selling page’ on Facebook.
The page was loaded with pictures of clothing and offered “loads of goodies to order for Saturday” and the instruction on the selling page was that items were available on a “buy on demand” basis.
Brands on offer included Adidas, Converse and Nike trainers ranging in price from £20 to £40; Michael Kors, Mulberry, Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton purses and handbags; perfumes and aftershaves including Paco Rabanne; Gucci and Rayban sunglasses selling for £15-20; Beats headphones and speakers for £10-£30; Ugg boots for £30-35 and Rolex watches £40.
All the items were counterfeit.
A warrant was executed on 30 September 2015 at the address in Folkestone and 144 items bearing famous brand names were seized from his room and his vehicle.
Magistrates heard that Friend had previously been convicted in 2013 for 33 Trade Marks Act offences. On that occasion he was sentenced to a community order for 200 hours of unpaid work.
In mitigation the court heard that Friend pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
Friend was sentenced to 120 days each offence to run concurrently, suspended for 12 months, plus 250 hours unpaid work.
He is also required to pay KCC £1,000 as a contribution towards costs and a £80 victim surcharge. All of the counterfeit goods were forfeited.
KCC Trading Standards Operations Manager Clive Phillips said: “The sale of counterfeit goods undermines legitimate local businesses.
“We take a dim view of those who repeatedly break the law and will seek to take action against them when they do so.”