In February 2018, West Yorkshire Trading Standards, along with officers from West Yorkshire Police and Brand Protection Officers from Rubie’s Masquerade Co UK Ltd, executed a warrant at the Tingley home address of Simon Goodison, owner of an EBay page selling counterfeit and unsafe children’s fancy dress costumes. Over 2,000 costumes were seized on the day and were later confirmed as counterfeit. Official safety tests were also conducted on the costumes and some failing identified, including part of a child’s costume failing the required flammability test.
In November 2019, at Leeds Magistrates Court, Simon Goodison pleaded guilty to 8 offences under The Trademarks Act 1994 and 2 offences under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court in February 2021 to a 12 month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work.
On 17th November 2021, a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was held at Leeds Crown Court where Simon Goodison was found to have benefited from his offending to the amount of £167,866.44. His assets available for confiscation were calculated as £73,797.25 and, as such, a confiscation order was made in that amount. He has been given 3 months to pay the order and will serve 12 months in default of payment.
Linda Davis, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Manager said, ‘This case really does show the dangers of selling counterfeit goods, as they are often of poor quality and may not have been tested to the correct UK Safety Standards. It is up to the seller to make sure the items they are selling are legitimate and safe for the UK market, so I would encourage traders to do their due diligence checks before listing items. With Christmas just around the corner, I would also strongly urge consumers to think twice before buying counterfeit goods especially those aimed at children.’
Councillor Pauleen Grahame, Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Governance and Audit Sub-Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards said, ‘This is a great result for West Yorkshire Trading Standards, and really highlights the unsafe nature of counterfeit goods. The money confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act will contribute to future investigations into this type of criminal activity, and will help protect West Yorkshire residents. Although the low price of counterfeit goods can be tempting, I would advise consumers to buy genuine this Christmas due to the uncertainty of the quality and safety of fake items.’
If you wish to report someone you suspect to be selling counterfeit goods please contact the Citizens Advice Helpline on 03454 040506