FENLAND: Trader pays the price for selling fake designer dresses

PUBLISHED: 18:12 04 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:43 29 April 2010

AN independent trader has paid the price for selling counterfeit designer clothes from his Cambridgeshire home. Matthew James O Mahoney, 23, of Coates Road, Eastrea, pleaded guilty to 15 charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 relating to the selling of fa

AN independent trader has paid the price for selling counterfeit designer clothes from his Cambridgeshire home.

Matthew James O'Mahoney, 23, of Coates Road, Eastrea, pleaded guilty to 15 charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 relating to the selling of fake designer clothes.

Huntingdon Crown Court heard that Trading Standards officers from Cambridgeshire County Council placed an order on the Impulse Trading website for a ski jacket purporting to be a Diesel garment for £59.99. The company confirmed that this was a fake.

Michael Procter, prosecuting for Cambridgeshire County Council, told the court that Trading Standards officers and police carried out a search of O'Mahoney's premises, where they seized 710 counterfeit items of clothing.

O'Mahoney told officers that Impulse Trading had sold between 30 and 80 garments a week and had a turnover of approximately £200,000 in the two years it had been operating.

The defendant admitted the charges and was handed a 120-hour community order, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £10,500. The court also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the counterfeit goods seized.

Catherine Pawson, Fair Trading Officer for Cambridgeshire Trading Standards said: "We are very pleased with the outcome of this case. It is often said that this type of crime only hurts the large organisations. However, it must be recognised that it also affects the livelihood of the smaller traders who cannot sell genuine goods at the right price if they are undermined by people like O'Mahoney selling inferior goods at much lower prices.

"The real losers, however, are the public who bought these garments in good faith. When purchasing over the Internet, they do not have the opportunity to examine the goods before they pay for them. They have to trust the honesty and integrity of the trader, and in O'Mahoney's case, they were badly let down."

"I hope the punishment and substantial costs awarded in this case serve as a warning to others.


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