James Weller and Jade Wyllie were sentenced after pleading guilty to considering to sell and/or expose for sale counterfeit goods at a hearing at Reading Crown Court on 27 April.
Mr Weller and Ms Wyllie, both of Ormonde Road, Wokingham, both pleaded guilty to the offence, which took place between 25 February 2013 and 8 March 2016. On top of this, they were also sentenced on one count of converting or transferring property, namely money, knowing or suspecting it to be criminal property between 25 February 2013 and 8 March 2016.
In the dock with them was Jade Jewell of Wansbeck Green, Taunton, who was also sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring with Weller and/or with persons unknown to sell and expose for sale counterfeit goods and one count of converting or transferring money, knowing or suspecting it to be criminal property, between 25 February 2015 and 30 June 2014.
The sentencing, followed a long and complex investigation by the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) trading standards service. In passing sentence His Honour Judge Dugdale stated that they had effectively stolen someone else’s intellectual property rights and said it was nothing short of theft. He also described Mr Weller and Ms Wyllie as being ‘extensively involved’ and was ‘quite sure’ they were both aware that trading standards would eventually get involved. He considered Weller to be the ‘driving force’ with a view to making profit and while he accepted that Jewell had less involvement, she was nevertheless aware that what she was doing was wrong.
Weller was handed a 16 months suspended sentenced (reduced from 20 due to guilty plea) suspended for 18 months, and a 12 month community order of 200 hours of unpaid work and accredited programme of 30 sessions.
Jade Wyllie was sentenced to 9 months suspended sentence (reduced from 12 months for her guilty plea) and a 12 month Community Order of 200 hours unpaid work.
Jade Jewell was sentenced to a 12 month community order of 120 hours unpaid work. Nil costs. Victim surcharge of £60.
A timetable was set for confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Cllr Norman Jorgensen, chairman of the Public Protection Partnership Management Board said, “This was a very complex investigation which drew on skills from across the Public Protection Partnership. The penalties which included two suspended prison sentences clearly indicate the severity of the offences in that the defendants did not just sell counterfeit goods but conspired with others to do so. We would like to acknowledge the support of our colleagues from Reading Borough Council for their support”.
The Public Protection Partnership is a shared service of Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council and delivers trading standards, environmental health and licensing functions.