A market trader who was caught with over £14,000 worth of counterfeit designer trainers following a surveillance operation on the Lincolnshire coast has been jailed for six months.
Mohammed Rangzeb, 35, admitted having 579 pairs of fake Nike and Adidas training shoes after raids on two market stalls and a caravan in Ingoldmells.
Lincoln Crown Court heard trading standards officers carried out the searches after buying a pair of fake Nike trainers for £25 during a test purchase at a stall on Eastgate Market in Ingoldmells.
Mohammed Abbas, 26, who was was working on the stall and sold the pair of trainers bought in the test purchase, was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.
In total 256 pairs of fake Nike trainers and 323 pairs of counterfeit Adidas trainers with a combined retail value of £14,475 were seized, the court heard.
Jonathon Goulding, prosecuting, said an undercover officer carried out the test purchase on 13 August 2011 following surveillance on stalls 238 and 239 at Eastgate Market.
“A test purchase was made at the stall of a pair of Nike Swoosh trainers with £25 paid to a man later identified as Mr Abbas, Mr Goulding told the court.
“The trainers were analysed by a trademark protection manager at Nike who said they were not genuine and had a retail price of £85.”
Following the purchase trading standard officers searched both stalls and a caravan in Ingoldmells which the two had been using, Mr Goulding added.
The court heard Rangzeb was sentenced to a community order for a similar offence in Northampton during 2008. Abbas had no previous convictions.
Simon Gruchy, mitigating for Rangzeb, said he was a father of two young children and the only bread winner in his family.
“He only lent a hand and worked on this stall for just a weekend.” Mr Gruchy added.
“There have been no further offences and he has a legitimate job at a shop in The Paddocks area of Huddersfield.”
The two men, both of Holly Road, Thornton Lodge, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, admitted two charges of possessing counterfeit training shoes following the raids in August 2011.
Abbas also pleaded guilty to a single charge of selling a pair of counterfeit trainers.
Passing sentence Judge Sean Morris told Rangzeb his previous community sentence had proved no deterrent.
“This kind of offending is not minor crime,” Judge Morris told both men.
“It undermines real companies. It affects them so it affects legitimate jobs.
“It is also likely the sort of thing you were pedaling was produced in sweat shops around the world where children are being exploited.”