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22 March 2011, 15:41 | Updated: 22 March 2011, 15:44
A trader has pleaded guilty to selling fake Metallica and Oasis t-shirts at a music festival in Knebworth, following a successful prosecution by Hertfordshire Trading Standards.
Paul Eves, 51, of St Mary's Road, Southend, was repeatedly caught with the counterfeit clothing by trading standards and police officers over two days at the Sonisphere concert in August 2009.
He was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday (March 18) to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £2,000 costs for unauthorised use of a trade mark.
The court heard that he was seen in a field in front of the entrance to Knebworth House attempting to sell the t-shirts at 11pm on August 1, and was approached by a trading standards officer. Eves started to walk away carrying a holdall but was stopped by a police officer. The bag contained 72 counterfeit t-shirts which were seized.
The following day, Eves was seen again around noon displaying counterfeit t-shirts for sale. When approached by a trading standards officer, he ran off leaving the t-shirts behind. Less than two hours later, he was spotted again near the entrance gate and car park. He again abandoned the t-shirts.
Two hours later, an officer spotted people crowding around a black Audi belonging to Paul Eves. As the officer approached, the people ran off. The vehicle, which was unlocked, contained more than 400 fake t-shirts.
Keith Emsall, Executive Member for Community Safety, said: "Some people may consider selling fake t-shirts as a low-risk 'soft' crime, but the ruling of the court reflects the seriousness of the breach in law. Selling fake goods deceives consumers and damages legitimate businesses.
"We are pleased that our actions have made this message hit home with traders - our officers did not find any counterfeit items at the Sonisphere concert in 2010."
Members of the public can report sales of counterfeit goods to Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. Hertfordshire businesses needing advice should contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards' business advice line on 01727 813849.