TWO Ballymena men have been given suspended prison terms after police uncovered hundreds of counterfeit items in the run up to Christmas two years ago.
Sandy Carley (45), of Grangegorm Drive in Ballymena and Neil Greer (41) of Dalriada Walk, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday.
They each faced nine charges of breaching registered trademarks relating to December 2017 – Greer previously admitted the charges and Carley had pleaded not guilty but was convicted after a contest.
The charges were that ‘with a view to gain for yourself or another or with intent to cause loss to another and without the consent of the proprietor, had in your possession, custody or control in the course of a business, goods which bore or the packaging of which bore a sign identical to or likely to be mistaken for a registered trademark.’
Names referred to in the charges included: Nars, Laura Mercier, L’Oreal, Kylie Jenner, Ben Nye, Huda Beauty, Nike, Nintendo and Pokemon.
A prosecutor said police had a search warrant and they found a large quantity of goods at Greer’s home and in a van nearby which belonged to Carley.
Carley’s defence barrister said the defendant accepted the van was his but had contested the case but he was convicted when the court found he must have had knowledge of the items.
A defence barrister for Greer said his client had a history of trading at markets or through social media platforms and in the run up to Christmas he had been trying to make money to provide for his children.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said they were “serious offences” and handing down a four months sentence, suspended for 18 months, to Greer who had entered a guilty plea.
The judge said Carley’s case was slightly different as he had contested the matter and he was given a five months jail term, suspended for two years.
- Following the court case the PSNI Ballymena Facebook page said: ‘In December 2017 we conducted a search in the Ballymena area that resulted in the seizure of over 1,100 counterfeit products.’
The police added: ‘Its a good time of the year to remind you that fake products are never tested before they are bought by you, there is numerous cases where electrical items have exploded and makeup causing severe allergic reactions.’