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Penryn man jailed for brazen DVD and CD counterfeit
12:50pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
A “cottage industry” of counterfeit CDs, DVDs and computer games has seen a Penryn man jailed for a year.
At Truro Crown Court on Thursday 29 August, Paul Sorren (49) of Permarin Road, Penryn, Cornwall was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for producing and distributing illegal copies of movies, music albums and computer games.
Cornwall Council's Trading Standards officers raided the Penryn address after a complaint from a member of the public, angry at the brazen counterfeiting operation being run from the property.
More than 7000 illegal DVDs and CDs were seized together with order books and other evidence of the counterfeit business.
The Court ordered that all of the seized items be forfeited and destroyed.
The court heard that Sorren's family received in excess of £1,500 in benefits a month, with the 'cottage industry' of counter¬feit goods being a “thoroughly dishonest way to make extra money”.
Sorren, aged 49, had been packaging the items in plastic cases and selling them on the internet and at car boot sales, in an “amateurish” scheme likened to Del Boy from only Fools and Horses by his own defence.
However Judge Christopher Harvey Clark QC disagreed, sentencing Sorren to a year in prison, saying: “there was a considerable amount of professionalism”, and a level of sophistication with printed colour labels and cases. Adding that it was Penryn, “not Peckham”.
Sorren, who had recent¬ly moved to Cornwall from Yorkshire had his sen¬tence cut to 12 months from 18 months after his guilty plea.
Nigel Strick, Cornwall Council's Fair Trading Manager explained the damage being done to local businesses: "The sale of illegal copies of films, music albums and software games undermines genuine retailers and can have a devastating impact on our high streets. We estimate that the discs we seized in this case alone would have cost local shops over £50,000 in lost revenue and that would ultimately lead to people losing their jobs and businesses being forced to close."
Kieron Sharp, Director General of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, said, "This is another clear sign that the courts will give out custodial sentences to criminals selling counterfeit goods. The action by Cornwall Trading Standards tackling the sale of counterfeit goods supports ongoing work by FACT across the UK. Such criminal activity adversely affects local retailers, rental shops and the wider economy and jobs."
And Judge Harvey Clark QC warned that punishment for this type of activity needs to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Anyone tempted to produce and sell illegal copies can expect to be sent to prison when caught.”
Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: “I would like to take this opportunity to praise the work of our trading standards team. The clear message is that such activities which impact on genuine businesses will not be tolerated.”
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