March 10 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 13, 2014
A Rackheath mother has pleaded guilty to selling £6,000 of fake designer Ugg boots and jewellery through Facebook and eBay.
Diane Bland bought the fake designer items from outlet stores in Manchester and counterfeit handbags from markets in Skegness, before listing them for sale online.
She was snared when trading standards officers made test purchases of a pair of Ugg boots and a silver Pandora bracelet in October 2012, having become aware of the Facebook group “Items for sale or free in Norwich” that summer.
When the items were found to be fake, mother-of-two Bland, 44, was arrested, and her Lonsdale Road home was searched, where 32 counterfeit items were found.
Bland pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates’ Court to six counts of possessing and selling goods bearing a false trademark, and one of supplying an unhallmarked article, relating to jewellery stamped “925” when it contained no silver.
Magistrates sitting in Norwich ordered pre-sentence reports and will sentence her on March 26.
Paul Boeuf, of Norfolk trading standards, said: “A calculation by the investigating officer using the number of items offered and the prices charged showed the gross receipts between August 3 and October 16 would have come to £6,064.”
In mitigation, Alistair Taunton said Bland had initially bought the items for herself on a visit to her partner’s family in Manchester, then brought back more for admiring friends and family on later visits.
She only began selling items online when encouraged by friends, and was making a profit of only £10 on each pair of boots.
He said: “She wasn’t making anything. All she was doing was taking the cost of petrol to Manchester and passing them on at cost price.”
He said Bland admitted she “didn’t ask too many questions” about the items, but had fully cooperated with police, pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and lost her previous good character. Bland was was given unconditional bail.