A PAIR of dodgy dealers were arrested after they were found selling fake designer goods at a market.
Tyler Gibson and Margaret Lucy Mongan’s dodgy retail operation was rumbled after an intellectual property investigator bought a fake Louis Vuitton shawl from them for £20 – a fraction of the £315 cost of the real thing.
The pair also had counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags and Mulberry purses and handbags on display when they were caught last April, Sunderland magistrates heard.
Gibson, 27, and Mongan, 21, both of Wellands Lane, in Whitburn, pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing goods with a false trademark and two of selling goods with a false trademark.
Michael Attenborough, prosecuting, said: “These charges arise out of the defendants operating a market stall at Kempton Park market.
“On April 18 an investigator attended the stall, posing as a potential customer and bought a Louis Vuitton shawl for £20. It was analysed and found to be a counterfeit item. The investigator was able to see and record that the defendants were in possession of a number of other items. They had a number of Louis Vuitton shawls and handbags and Mulberry purses and handbags.”
Mr Attenborough told the court it was not possible say exactly how many fake goods were on sale at the stall.
He added: “One week later another investigator bought another Louis Vuitton scarf for £20.
“In the course of that transaction the defendants were asked what other colours they had and was told that all the colours of the rainbow were available, perhaps an indication of reasonable stock levels.”
“They say people must be aware they aren’t real as we are selling them at a fraction of the cost, but that doesn’t provide a defence.” Anna Haq, defending, said the pair had been in financial difficulty as Gibson was awaiting major heart surgery at the time of the offences, and was unable to work. She said Mongan is now four months pregnant.
She added: “These are really low value items, which had been sold for £20, and it is reasonable to expect that buyers will have been aware that these were not genuine.
“The profits were minimal.
“Miss Mongan has no previous experience of being in a court. There is one previous conviction in relation to Mr Gibson, in 2012. Both defendants are from the travelling community.”
Mrs Haq asked that the bench keep any supervision requirement to a minimum, adding that a long order would be ‘unworkable’ due to the pair’s nomadic lifestyle.
Both defendants were sentenced to community orders for nine months with supervision. They were ordered to pay prosecution costs, which have yet to be calculated, and a £60 victim surcharge.