Debt-ridden Anal Kumar Handa claimed he had bought the stash of dodgy gear from a friend in Manchester to prop-up his failing business.
And expert analysis showed the haul had been made illegally and was being sold on the black market. Now dad-of-two Handa has appeared before magistrates in Newcastle where he admitted seven counts of possessing the illegal stash and was handed a £465 fine and ordered to pay £253 costs.
“Our trading standards team are always on the lookout for fake goods and act on tip-offs from the public so people selling counterfeit goods are always looking over their shoulder. It’s just not worth it and in this case, not only have the goods been seized but the trader in question has received a fine and costs.
“I hope this acts as a deterrent to others thinking about selling fake merchandise not to do it.”
Northumbria Police first contacted the council’s trading standards team on December 3 last year after fears were raised illegal clobber was being stored at Handa’s Fashion Girl store on Welbeck Road, Walker.
The following day officers served a notice on the 60-year-old before executing a search of the premises where they discovered five handbags, 136 tracksuits, 54 pairs of Ugg boots and four tops.
When Handa, of Kenton Road, Kenton, was quizzed he admitted buying the stash but said he had been trying to bankroll his business after the recession took its toll. He said he had been made the subject of a County Court judgement for debts totalling £6,841 in 2009 and was struggling to get credit for his store.
And in a bid to ensure the company’s survival and to support his family he bought the clothes from Manchester in the hope of an easy sale.
Victoria Oliver, defending, told magistrates: “The recession has hit Mr Handa’s clothing business hard. It’s a small shop and as a result he was unable to obtain credit because of the CCJ.
“He turned unfortunately to friends in Manchester who put him in touch with a gentleman who he bought the clothes from.
“He was aware they were not legitimate and they were on a sale or return basis. He was aware the goods were not of proper origin and unfortunately he kept them in his store room hoping they would keep his business afloat.
“The business is an ongoing concern - it’s keeping afloat but only just.”
She added: “This was a foolish thing to do, to be tempted by the thought of a quick sale in the hope of supporting his family.”
Magistrates heard Handa is due to undergo surgery for a curvature of the spine. Chairman of the bench Nick Girdler said it was a “serious matter” and was premeditated. Handa was fined £465, ordered to pay £253 costs and a victim surcharge of £46.
Source : http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/fake-designer-clothing-lands-walker-7079706