Somerset

Designer brand conmen 'lucky' to avoid jail term

Darreh Ward (l) and Tim Tivney Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Darren Ward (l) and Tim Tivney will face a proceeds of crime hearing later this year

A conman who peddled counterfeit goods worth thousands of pounds was "lucky" not be jailed, a judge has said.

Darren Ward and Tim Tivney were handed suspended sentences after they admitted selling the fake designer products.

Bristol Crown Court previously heard police had found the goods when they raided a lock-up in July 2012.

Sentencing, Judge Neil Ford QC said Ward was a "lucky man" to avoid a custodial term, in light of his history of similar offending.

The pair, from Weston-super-Mare, both admitted trademark offences.

'Consumer suffers'

Ward, 41, of Mulberry Lane, Bleadon, was sentenced to 13 months, suspended for two years.

Tivney, 35, of Balmoral Way, Weston, was given a 12-month community order and ordered to do 80 hours' unpaid work.

Speaking outside court, John Jacobs, from Trading Standards, said counterfeiting was not a victimless crime.

"You're getting the goods cheap but you're not getting the quality," he said.

"Because the brand holders are losing money to counterfeiting, the price goes onto the consumer so you do pay more in the end."

The pair will face a proceeds of crime hearing later this year.

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