A Ballymena police officer who was selling counterfeit car accessories has been given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty at the town’s Magistrates’ court.
In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mr Paul Gordon Bacon (46) of Ballymena, who traded on eBay, pleaded guilty to 11 charges under Section 92 of Trade Marks Act 1994. The court also granted a forfeiture order in relation to thousands of offending item seized by Trading Standards.
The trader was brought to the attention of the Trading Standards Service following a complaint by a major car manufacturer. Investigations revealed that Mr Bacon had a substantial presence on eBay via his business “Car Accessory Shop NI”.
In November 2013, Trading Standards Officers went to Mr. Bacon’s premises, where they found almost 3,000 counterfeit car badges, wallets, key rings and other items bearing the names or logos of various car manufacturing and tuning companies including BMW, Audi, VW, SEAT, Skoda, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Porsche.
Mr. Bacon admitted sourcing the items in China and subsequently selling them via his eBay shop. In the two year period prior to Trading Standards action against him, investigations show he had in excess of 8,800 sales on eBay with a total value of more than £80,000.
Nicholas Lane, Inspector for Trading Standards Service said: “Counterfeiting harms legitimate business and threatens jobs. Anyone who imports goods into the UK and offers them for sale must ensure they are genuine and comply with all statutory requirements.”
Mr Lane added: “The Trading Standards Service will continue to uncover sellers of counterfeit goods on auction sites and social media sites and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any trader found to be selling fakes. We would remind anyone involved in this type of activity that the courts can impose penalties of up to £5,000 or six months in prison per offence if trademarks or copyrights are infringed.”
Anyone who believes they have been sold counterfeit goods should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or visit nidirect: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/consumerline or via the Northern Ireland Trading Standards Service Facebook page.