Businessman jailed over computer piracy
A BUSINESSMAN is today starting a one year jail sentence for attempting to supply fake Microsoft computer software and then jumping bail.Peter Murray-Cowan, 40, had to be extradited from Germany to face trial at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court, where he was jailed yesterday.
A BUSINESSMAN is today starting a one year jail sentence for attempting to supply fake Microsoft computer software and then jumping bail.
Peter Murray-Cowan, 40, had to be extradited from Germany to face trial at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court, where he was jailed yesterday.
A jury convicted Murray-Cowan, formerly of Sirdar Road, Ipswich, of attempting to supply a consignment of counterfeit Microsoft products to a company in Kent.
The copies of Windows NT Server were intercepted before delivery by officers from Suffolk County Council trading standards department. Tests by an expert from Microsoft had shown the products to be fakes.
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Murray-Cowan claimed he had used a kettle to test the heat-sensitive security patch on each sealed box and believed they all had been genuine. He added they had been purchased by him in good faith.
The businessman, who ran a company called Computersoft Software Distributors Ltd from premises in Stoke Street in Ipswich, had been originally charged in September 2001.
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He was released on unconditional bail to appear in court in May 2002, but failed to turn up.
It later emerged that Murray-Cowan had been arrested by the German authorities with a car loaded with fake Microsoft software products and faced a prosecution.
The businessman was then extradited back to the UK, where he has since been held in custody pending his trial.
The jury of three women and nine men found Murray-Cowan guilty of attempting to supply a consignment of counterfeit Microsoft products.
But they cleared him of a second charge of supplying three fake computer software discs to another company at the same address as his business in Ipswich. He had pleaded not guilty to both offences.
Judge John Devaux jailed Murray-Cowan for six months for the attempted supply of fake software and for a further six months for failing to surrender to his bail.
But he told Murray-Cowan: "I don't believe that for one moment that you will give up these sort of activities."
Counterfeit software and a computer that had been seized by trading standards officers during the investigation should be forfeited, the judge ordered.