On 11th September at Bradford Crown Court, Stephen Clarkson of Halifax, director of Custom Design UK Ltd was sentenced to 8 months prison sentence suspended for 2 years and ordered to complete 280 hours community service for offences under the Trade Marks Act. An investigation is now ongoing under the Proceeds of Crime Act and the case will be listed for a further hearing at a later date.
In 2016, West Yorkshire Trading Standards received information from Surelock who represent numerous trademark holders that Custom Design UK Ltd was selling counterfeit clothing through an eBay account. In January 2017, during an inspection of the Custom Design UK Ltd registered office, West Yorkshire Trading Standards seized numerous heat transfers as well as items of clothing bearing various music and sporting trademarks such as Foo Fighters and Adidas. A computer was also seized and after forensic examination it was discovered to contain software which was used to create the heat transfers.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service said, “We welcome the punishment given to Mr Clarkson as it sends a warning to others that counterfeiting is a serious crime and will not be tolerated.”
Councillor Jo Hepworth, Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of Trading Standards said, “Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime and costs the UK economy billions of pounds annually which threatens the livelihood of legitimate businesses that can ultimately result in job losses. This goes to show protecting legitimate businesses is a priority of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service.”
If you would like to report anybody selling counterfeit goods then please contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Helpline number 03454 040506.