Ex Hull FC and Great Britain rugby league player Gareth Raynor jailed for breaching trademarks and fraudulent trading

A man has today has been sentenced to 15 months in prison at Hull Crown Court following an extensive investigation by East Riding of Yorkshire Council's trading standards service.

Gareth Raynor, formally of Birch Place, Brough, had pleaded guilty to 14 charges including breaching trademarks and fraudulent trading.

The investigation by the council's trading standards service had uncovered a 36,000 fake ink cartridge and computer games scam.

He was imprisoned for nine months for his counterfeiting offences and a further six as a result of breaching a previous suspended sentence relating to a racially aggravated common assault.

On sentencing Judge Thorne QC said: "You were not saying that you product was cheap and shoddy when advertising them via eBay and as such any purchaser was buying based on trust, you breached that trust, the buyers could not inspect the product until after the deal had been done. Thus both the buyer is a victim and also the producer of the product is the victim in loss of sales.

"Your good name was used up when you received you suspended sentence although you have being doing good things within the community.

"Credit has been given for pleading guilty, if it had gone to full trial a sentence of 18 months would of been imposed. My starting position is 12 months reduced to 9."

Colin Briggs, tranding standards service manager, said: "This sentence will send a message to anyone involved in this kind of illegal activity. Our successful and extensive investigation of Mr Raynor shows that East Riding of Yorkshire Council treats these crimes seriously, and will do what it can to protect the consumers who are the real victims in these cases."

Michael Rawlinson, director general of the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), said: "The replication of computer and video games software is illegal and has a negative impact on both local and national businesses. ELSPA would like to thank the efforts of East Riding of Yorkshire council's trading standards service in their attempts to protect legitimate local traders and remove illegal products from the marketplace."

Trading on eBay, primarily under the trading name `Genuine-Ink` Gareth Raynor imported reconditioned second-hand ink cartridges from China and re-packaged them using glossy inner and outer packaging made to look like genuine brands such as Epson, Nintendo DS and Gameboy cartridges were also imported and sold on the same false basis via the internet auction website.

In August 2008 trading standards officers raided his home in Brough near Hull.

At the property computers and a number of addressed packages ready for dispatch containing fake ink cartridges in a front room were seized.

A large quantity of fake ink cartridges were also discovered and seized from the garage. Further inquiries revealed that between May 2007 and August 2008 there were more than 1,500 transactions on the website involving the sale of fake ink cartridges as well as Nintendo DS and Gameboy games.

Computers used by Mr Raynor to conduct his business were also seized and then subjected to forensic examination. These revealed a series of emails in which the defendant was in effect asking his suppliers to make sure that the fake goods supplied to appeared to be as genuine as possible

Confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act have also commenced against him.

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