A Doncaster woman has been given a suspended prison sentence for selling counterfeit films and music.
It follows a joint investigation by Doncaster Council’s Trading Standards Service and South Yorkshire Police.
Kerry Rout, 30, of Doncaster Road, Armthorpe was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on January 31, 2014 for 19 counts of selling and possessing for sale counterfeit films and music.
Rout had a regular pitch near the Sunday market in the Hall Road area of Stainforth where she openly displayed and sold hundreds of counterfeit DVDs to the detriment of local businesses.
Despite being reported to the authorities by members of the public through Crimestoppers, several warnings from Doncaster Council, and a joint raid on her stall by Police and trading standards officers, Rout continued to sell counterfeits. This left the council and police with no alternative other than court action.
Speaking in court, Judge Sarah Wright said: ”You first came to the attention of the authorities in 2010. You were warned, given a chance in the clearest terms and even signed an undertaking not to continue but you did not learn.”
Judge Wright sentenced Rout to a 6 month prison sentence, plus 200 hours unpaid work and forfeiture of all DVDs and computer equipment seized in the case. The prison sentence was suspended for 2 years. A Proceeds of Crime investigation is now underway.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft says that UK audio-visual industries are losing £500m a year due to copyright theft, equating to a total economic loss to the UK economy of £1.2bn. Up to a quarter of a million jobs will be at risk if nothing is done about copyright infringement in the UK by 2015.
Councillor Joe Blackham, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards said: “Counterfeiting impacts on legitimate businesses and local jobs, profits are often used to fund other criminal activities.
“As part of our ‘fight the fakes’ campaign we are targeting those who sell counterfeit goods.
“Doncaster Council has a zero tolerance policy on all forms of crime and anti-social behaviour. Consumers wishing to report suspected sales of counterfeit goods should visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/tradingstandards or contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.”