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No hiding place for fake goods traders

PUBLISHED: 21:06 06 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 March 2010

TRADERS were today warned that there is no hiding place if they try to sell fake goods.

This comes after Essex man Michael Barker was fined £800 for attempting to sell counterfeit Ipswich Town flags.

TRADERS were today warned that there is no hiding place if they try to sell fake goods.

This comes after Essex man Michael Barker was fined £800 for attempting to sell counterfeit Ipswich Town flags.

Peter Monk, county councillor responsible for Trading Standards issues, said: "The action taken by the Trading Standards department and the fines imposed should act as a clear deterrent to anyone who thinks selling counterfeit items is OK.

"It is detrimental to legitimate businesses, exploits consumers and damages confidence in the economy where it matters most, on a local level. We will continue to take appropriate action against anyone who deliberately flouts consumer protection laws."

Barker, 36, from The Broadway, Leigh On Sea in Essex attempted to make money from the Blues' Wembley play-off final appearance.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard how Barker was seen selling counterfeit Ipswich Town flags. These contained the Suffolk Punch horse, a registered trademark, on it.

Richard O'Sullivan, prosecuting, said: "In the afternoon of Friday, May 26, 2000 Trading Standards officers were in Ipswich Town Centre looking for anyone selling Ipswich Town merchandise.

"Just after 1pm Mr Barker was spotted outside the River Island shop. An officer went up to him and believed the flags were an illegal copy of the Ipswich Town Football Club trademark.

"The defendant first gave his name as Stephen James and said he was from Wickford in Essex."

The officer realised this was false and Barker was arrested and taken to Ipswich Police Station. Barker had been selling 28 items, 14 large flags being sold for £5 each and 14 smaller flags costing £4.40 each.

Roger Stewart, mitigating, said: "Mr Barker had purchased a flat about a year prior and had other financial pressures but did not realise these items were against a trademark."

Barker was fined £300 but also had to pay £500 in court costs as he had failed to turn up for two previous hearings.

Saraid Cann, a Trading Standards spokeswoman, said this was the first time someone had been prosecuted in Suffolk after selling fake football merchandise.

She added: "We knew it was an important time for the club and we believed there would be people out there trying to take advantage.

"It is a good result for Trading Standards as it shows we will still pursue the case even if a person leaves the county."

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