Jail term for illegal DVD seller

A MAN caught selling illegal DVDs in Ipswich is today beginning a four-month spell behind bars.

A MAN caught selling illegal DVDs in Ipswich is today beginning a four-month spell behind bars.

Xue Chung Lin was arrested at Boss Hall Industrial Estate in Ipswich on September 1 after being found in possession of 283 of the illegal discs, 217 of which were feature films not yet released in the shops, while the remaining 66 contained hardcore pornography.

The 32-year-old, a Chinese national living in London, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court admitted three charges of possessing goods with false trademarks for sale or hire, a charge of possessing unclassified video recordings and a further two charges of possessing articles that infringe copyright law.

Graham Crisp, principal trading standards officer with Suffolk County Council, told the court: “We received communication at 2.50pm telling us that a man was selling counterfeit DVDs at Boss Hall. Trading standards contacted the police who arrested Lin.”

In interview, Lin said he was Chinese and did not possess a British passport. He did not appear to have legal status but had been working as a chef in Colchester from 1999 until about three weeks ago when he was dismissed because of an injury to his back.

Mr Crisp said: “Mr Lin felt he was left with no means of making money but a friend introduced him to a man who on three occasions gave Lin a backpack full of DVDs to sell.”

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Lin admitted in interview that he knew the bag contained counterfeit DVDs and said he knew it was illegal to sell them.

Michael Stephenson, representing Lin, said: “A custodial sentence is normal for these matters, despite his previous good character and the credit you will give him for his admissions in interview.

“But I do try to persuade you to make that prison sentence as short as you possibly can.”

In sentencing Lin, chair of the bench, John Horton, said: “This offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence is justified. Therefore we sentence you to a period of four months' imprisonment.”

Mr Horton also made on order for the forfeiture and destruction of the counterfeit DVDs.

XUE Chung Lin's arrest came just days after Suffolk Trading Standards launched 'Fake Free Suffolk', a campaign to raise public and trader awareness of the growing problem of the sale of counterfeit items in the county.

Graham Crisp, principal trading standards officer with Suffolk County Council, said: “It is important to keep these goods out of the marketplace because they damage the business of traders selling genuine goods.

“It deprives local businesses and retailers and that is why we take it so seriously.

“There are also recognisable links to organised crime with proceeds from the sale of such goods often going to fund it.”

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