Fined for selling fake DVDs at car boot sale

A TRADER who was caught selling counterfeit DVDs at a car boot sale has been ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid community work.

Paul Lawrence, 38, of Blackstone Close, Alfreton, was caught with more than 700 counterfeit DVDs at Hucknall Car Boot in September last year during a routine inspection by Trading Standards Officers from Nottinghamshire County Council.

An officer paid Lawrence £2 for a counterfeit copy of Jane Eyre - a DVD that would normally retail for around £13.

Other titles being sold included Cars 2, Shrek Collection, Zookeeper, Thor, Green Lantern, Contagion and The Debt. All had photocopied covers and titles written in marker pen on the discs themselves.

All the DVDs were seized by Trading Standards.

Lawrence admitted 11 charges under the Trademarks Act 1994 in a hearing at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.

As well as being ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work in the community, Lawrence also has to pay £260 towards the county council’s costs in bringing the case.

The estimated cost of counterfeit goods to the UK economy is £500,000,000 each year in loss of revenue to legitimate businesses and taxes.

Cllr Mick Murphy said: “Selling counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime.

“Legitimate retailers selling genuine products are being cheated out of trade, which can have dire consequences for the future of honest businesses and their employees.

“In this case, it was obvious from the quality of the DVDs being sold that they were counterfeit. I would urge anyone who sees counterfeit goods on sale not to buy them and to contact Trading Standards immediately.

“We will be working more closely with market and car boot sale operators in the future to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities in not allowing counterfeit items to be sold at their events.”