A Bedford man has been handed a 10 months suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 270 hours of community service for having fake and dangerous goods for sale.
The case was brought to court after an investigation by Bedford Borough Council Environmental Health and Trading Standards Service.
Prince Doms Odemena, owner of Vivacity Stores Ltd, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of breaching the Trade Marks Act 1994 and 5 of breaching the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and appeared at Bedford Magistrates Court on Wednesday, November 27.
Mr Odemena, who owned the company Vivacity Stores Limited and traded as vivacitystores.com, originally based at Henley Road, Bedford, had been asked to remove dangerous electrical goods from sale on his websites by Trading Standards in June 2012.
When the electrical items remained on sale, Trading Standards executed an entry and search warrant in September at Mr Odemena’s then home address in Kempston.
Officers discovered a large amount of clothing and electrical items at the address and subsequent tests identified that the majority were either counterfeit and/or dangerous to consumers.
Items seized included dangerous electrical chargers, mobile phone wrist watches, slimming massage belts, ‘New Era’ baseball caps, ‘Calvin Klein’ bedding and ‘Mac’ make up Kits.
Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “This investigation uncovered potentially dangerous electrical devices being sold to members of the public. This is clearly a risk to the public and illegal and the decision taken by the courts supports the action taken by the Council in pursuing this case.
“This result demonstrates that we will take all possible action to ensure that rogue businessmen and women will not be allowed to operate in Bedford borough.”
Mr Odemena was sentenced to five months in prison for the Electrical Safety Offences and 10 months for the Trade Mark offences with both sentences to run concurrently and which were suspended for 24 months.
He was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs, a £100 victim surcharge and to carry out 270 hours of Community Work.
Magistrates took into account Mr Odemena’s guilty plea and reduced his sentence by 10%.