A Sunderland woman who was found with a haul of fake designer goods has been fined.
Susan Christine Hill, from Earls Green, East Rainton, was spotted in the driver’s seat of a van parked outside a hair salon in Easington Colliery in December 2016.
Trading standards officers from Durham County Council also observed a man and a woman carrying bags into the salon from the back of the van.
A search of the premises unearthed a number of counterfeit items which Hill said belonged to her. Further goods were discovered in the back of the van.
The haul of 100 items included fake Ted Baker, Stella McCartney and Mulberry handbags and purses, footwear and gloves branded as UGG and tracksuits and hats bearing Hugo Boss logos.
When interviewd, Hill, 39, said she had been approached by an unknown person and asked to sell the goods for a payment of £40 to £50.
She pleaded guilty to five charges of possession of counterfeit goods at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court, claiming that although the counterfeit items did not belong to her, she had agreed to deliver them to the salon, set up the sale and then return any unsold goods and cash to the owner.
Robin Ford, defending, told magistrates that Hill was experiencing financial difficulties at the time of the offence but was now running her own business.
She was fined £417 and ordered to pay £895.78 in costs and a £42 victim surcharge.
Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of environment, health and consumer protection, said: "The number of counterfeit items discovered by trading standards officers
clearly demonstrates that this was an organised operation.
"Selling, offering for sale and possessing counterfeit goods for sale are serious offences which carry a potential jail term of up to 10 years.
"The sale of counterfeit goods can deceive customers and also harms legitimate businesses. We will continue to investigate this type of crime in County Durham and take
the necessary action against anyone found selling such items."