Man jailed for selling fake CDs and games
A prolific counterfeiter has been jailed after brazenly ripping off thousands of movies, CDs and computer games.
Paul Sorren, of Permarin Road, Penryn, Cornwall, was sentenced to 12 months behind bars for producing and distributing the illegal copies when he appeared at Truro Crown Court after admitting the charge at an earlier magistrates appearance.
The 49-year-old was nabbed when Cornwall Council's Trading Standards officers raided the address after a complaint from a member of the public, angry at the brazen counterfeiting operation being run from the property.
More than 7,000 illegal DVDs and CDs were seized, together with order books and other evidence of the counterfeit business.
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The court ordered that all of the seized items be forfeited and destroyed.
In passing sentence, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark QC condemned what he described as a "cottage industry" being used to supplement state benefits.
"You lived off state benefits and treated this as a thoroughly dishonest way to make extra money," he said.
The judge also warned that punishment for this type of activity should serve as a deterrent to others.
"Anyone tempted to produce and sell illegal copies can expect to be sent to prison when caught."
Nigel Strick, Cornwall Council's fair trading manager, said it was not a victimless crime and damage was 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 businesses being forced to close."
Kieron Sharp, director general of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, praised the action taken, saying: "This is another clear sign that the courts will give out custodial sentences to criminals selling counterfeit goods."