A Ceredigion couple have been fined for selling counterfeit goods.

Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court slapped Peter Hinchen, 54, and Sharon Hopkins, 38, of Rhydlewis, with fines following an investigation by Ceredigion County Council’s Trading Standards officers.

The pair stood before the court on Tuesday, April 30, pleading guilty to four offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994.

The court hearing revealed that officials from the Public Protection service found dubious tracksuits, trainers, watches, jackets, and perfumes advertised for sale by the couple on online marketplaces.

A subsequent search warrant executed at their home in December 2021 led to the seizure of 65 items of clothing, 19 pairs of trainers, four watches, and 13 bottles of fragrance.

These items were later confirmed to be counterfeit by trademark representatives for brands such as Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Ralph Lauren, POLO, Givenchy, Chelsea, Ben10, and Emporio Armani.

Charged with the joint possession and sale of the counterfeit goods, the couple initially denied the allegations when interviewed.

The court was informed that if authentic, the seized goods would have had a retail value of £8,240.

Public Protection officers also stated that some of the counterfeit clothing designed for children failed to meet British safety standards due to the potential choking hazard presented by drawstring cords.

Councillor Matthew Vaux, cabinet member for public protection, cautioned residents against purchasing counterfeit goods, highlighting the potential safety risks and damage to legitimate commerce.

He warned: "Counterfeit goods do not meet the stringent safety requirements required of legitimate goods; they do not undergo any quality or safety testing, and consumers will not know how or where they are made.

"Not only do counterfeit goods pose a risk to buyers, they also undermine legitimate commerce in the county and further afield.

During the hearing, the defence claimed that the pair had been given the goods by an unidentified man from Llanelli to sell.

However, they were only seeking personal gain through the means of receiving free clothing for their children.

Nevertheless, Aberystwyth Magistrates Court imposed a fine of £434 on each defendant and issued a destruction order for the confiscated goods.