Counterfeit clothing makers prosecuted
Nike, Superdry, UGG, Henri Lloyd, Lacoste and North Face amongst some of the brands being replicated
TWO people have been handed suspended prison sentences after being convicted of running a counterfeit clothing factory in Leicester.
Tarsem Kaur and Altaf Sattar appeared in Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday 23rd March for sentencing, after previously pleading guilty to 21 offences of counterfeiting under the Trade Marks Act.
Trading Standards Officers and police who raided premises at the Oak and Ash Business Park, in Ash Street, Spinney Hills, in August 2015, discovered hundreds of garments, thousands of counterfeit labels and machinery for making garments.
In all, officers found 6,143 counterfeit labels and swing tags for clothing, as well as 894 completed garments. They cover 14 different brands including Nike, Superdry, UGG, Henri Lloyd, Lacoste and North Face.
The counterfeit goods had an estimated street value of £150,000.
Some of the clothing was found packed into boxes and ready to go, while a large quantity of child-size Adidas-branded clothing was found partially made on sewing machines.
The court heard how Kaur was arrested at the scene, and Sattar arrested later following a raid at his home address in Spinney Hills in which further items were found in connection with the factory.
Both Kaur and Sattar were convicted of the offences on January 25th 2017.
In arriving at his sentence, the judge took into account that Sattar was suffering from a series of medical problems, including depression, a heart condition and diabetes, and had lost a leg.
Kaur, aged 46, of Rosemead Drive, Oadby, and Sattar, aged 60, of Cork Street, Spinney Hills, were each given a 12-month suspended jail sentence, suspended for two years.
Leicester City Council is now due to pursue a proceeds of crime confiscation order against the defendants over the counterfeit goods.
The court was told how the counterfeit clothing was being sold at markets elsewhere in the UK.
The factory at Spinney Hills was shut down following the raid in 2015 and has not continued to produce any further items.
Leicester assistant city mayor for jobs and skills, Cllr Sue Waddington, said: “We would have liked to see a stronger sentence imposed in this case, to send the message out to other counterfeiters that this sort of crime will not be tolerated.
“Our Trading Standards team will continue to work closely with the police to crackdown on such illegal operations and protect the interests of consumers and legitimate businesses across the city.”
Adidas senior brand protection manager, Mike Roylance, added: “ We have a big fight on our hands to try and stem the fight against counterfeit products appearing in the UK market place and it totally undermines everything that Adidas stands for in producing quality products.
“Adidas very much appreciates the working partnership that we have with Trading Standards in helping us to protect consumers from these substandard products.”