Prosecution of Sherborne Woman Follows Counterfeit Clothing Seizure

A Sherborne woman who was stopped with over 300 items of counterfeit clothing in her van has been prosecuted and sentenced.

Counterfeit clothes

On 18 May 2022, at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court, Tracey Hampson, aged 41 of South Avenue, Sherborne was sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty to four offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 at an earlier hearing. She was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £95 and prosecution costs of £500. The case was brought by Dorset Council, Trading Standards.

The court heard that she was stopped by police driving her van near Sherborne in March 2021 and they found it was loaded with clothing and footwear which they suspected was counterfeit. The police seized the goods and passed them to Dorset Council Trading Standards to investigate.

Trading Standards officers obtained evidence from the trade mark owners that the goods were illegal copies. A total of 322 items were seized, mainly clothing and footwear with some cosmetics and handbags. The brands represented included Nike, Adidas, Stone Island, Armani, North Face, Hugo Boss, Moncler and Michael Kors. If the goods had been genuine the total value would have been over £56,000.

In interview Hampson told officers that she had obtained the goods from market traders in London and Bristol and believed that they were genuine. She had sold some through Facebook but her main outlet was through an eBay shop. She had ceased trading after the seizure. In sentencing, the magistrates took account of Hampson’s difficult personal circumstances.

Martin Thursby Principal Trading Standards Officer at Dorset Council said, “The maximum penalty for selling counterfeit goods is 10 years imprisonment. Anyone tempted to sell counterfeit goods over the internet should be aware of this.”

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said:

“The sale of counterfeit goods damages legitimate business, including local retailers selling genuine products and can confuse and mislead consumers. Our Trading Standards team will take action against sellers of counterfeit goods and those involved should be aware that significant penalties can follow.”

To report someone selling suspected counterfeit goods, the first point of contact is the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

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