Festive fake warning

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Doncaster Council is warning residents to watch out for fakes in the final days before Christmas.

It comes as a market trader caught selling counterfeit goods has been sentenced to a 12 month Community Service Order following a prosecution by the authority.

On Monday 16 December 2013, thirty-six year old Christopher Holt of Old Dairy Close in Thorne, pleaded guilty to 30 offences under The Trade Marks Act 1994 for selling and possessing for supply, counterfeit and pirate DVD movies and MP3 music.

Doncaster Magistrates sentenced Holt to 200 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay prosecution costs of £260. He was also told that he would not be getting back two laptops and 1200 DVDs seized by police and trading standards.

The court heard that Holt had been selling the fake CDs and DVDs from a stall at Hall Road at Stainforth on a weekly basis for some time. During November and December 2012 trading standards officers conducted several test purchases. Police and trading standards then seized the remaining fake goods still on sale.

Despite this, Holt continued trading in fakes until July 2013 when a warrant was executed at his home address, during which computer equipment and over 800 CDs and DVDs were seized.

Councillor Joe Blackham, Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said: “As part of our ‘fight the fakes’ campaign we are targeting those who sell counterfeit goods throughout the festive season.

“It’s not always easy to spot fake DVD movies, but signs include poor quality printed covers, missing BBFC age ratings, hand-written titles on the disc and blue, purple or gold discs when most genuine ones are silver.

“Counterfeiting impacts on legitimate businesses and profits are often used to fund other criminal activities.”