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Couple who sold fake brands on social media ordered to pay more than £5,000 in costs

A husband and wife from St Austell appeared at Bodmin Magistrates Court last week to face charges of selling counterfeit goods via Facebook, WhatsApp and other on-line platforms in a prosecution brought by Cornwall Council Trading Standards.

Phillip Parish, 38, and his wife Tracey Parish, 49, from Larcombe Road in St Austell, both admitted three offences of selling clothing which bore well-known brand names without the permission of the trade mark owners and a further charge of running a fraudulent business from August 2016 through to April 2019.

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The Court heard that the Trading Standards investigation was triggered by a test purchase made on behalf of the Superdry company and that when an entry warrant was executed at their home a quantity of fake items, including Canada Goose jackets, Nike and Superdry sweatshirts and Ugg boots and a sum of cash were seized from the couple. Mobile phone evidence showed that the sales had been taking place for almost three years.

In giving the couple credit for admitting their guilt at the first opportunity and recognising that neither had been before the Court for any other matters Magistrates ordered the couple to pay £5,739 in prosecution costs and surcharges and imposed a 12 month conditional discharge. If either is charged with any further offence during a period of 12 months, further penalties may be imposed for these charges.

Commenting on the prosecution, Cllr Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection said: "The sale of counterfeit goods undermines genuine businesses and costs legitimate jobs here in Cornwall. Anyone caught selling fakes can expect to face the full force of prosecution and recovery of proceeds of crime.

"Cornwall Council is determined to defend the interests of legitimate businesses in Cornwall.”