Fake Disney goods are seized from town store

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A trader who sold fake One Direction phone cases and counterfeit Disney toys from his ‘pocket money’ store on the Promenade has been ordered to carry out 120 hours’ community service.

Trading Standards officers found 20 counterfeit Disney magic lights, 31 Snow White figurine sets and dozens of counterfeit One Direction, JLS And Justin Bieber phone cases during a visit to Vincent Baxter’s Blackpool Bargains Centre.

Preston Crown Court heard he had a previous conviction for a similar offence, plus a caution. The 59-year-old man was placed on a community order after being committed by magistrates to the higher court for six offences under the Trademarks Act 1994.

Victoria Cartmell, prosecuting on behalf of Blackpool Borough Council, told how items were seized by trading standards officers during an inspection at the shop on May 27 last year.

Twenty Disney ‘magic lights’ for children, were taken away as well as 31 Snow White figurine sets, 75 phone cases with pictures of pop stars One Direction, JLS, The Wanted and Justin Bieber and three with Chelsea Football Club’s badge.

When interviewed under caution, in July last year, Baxter said he had been in the retail trade for 30 years and had bought the goods in Manchester.

The court was told that in May 2012 he was cautioned over 25 counterfeit items seized from the shop, including Thomas the Tank Engine money boxes.

In July 2009 he was dealt with and fined for three offences, involving 40 items.

Andrew Evans. defending, said the most recent offences involved just a very small percentage of around 1,000 separate lines sold at the store, which he described as a “pocket money shop”.

The phone covers had only been in the shop for around a week. The ‘magic lights’ had apparently been covered in dust and may even have been in the shop back in 2012 during a previous visit by trading standards.

Mr Evans said: “During the 15 months since the later inspection he has put a plan in place so that if there are any goods he is not sure of he will contact the trading standards authorities and check with them. He has taken items to them.”

The judge, Recorder Mark Ainsworth, said courts took a dim view of such cases.

He told Baxter: “You should have been making greater checks previously to ensure these magic lights or figurine sets or phone covers were the genuine article.”