Halesowen sellers of fake goods must sell home

A COUPLE have been told they must sell the Halesowen home they turned into a shop to sell thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit goods, to help clear their ill-gotten gains.

Wayne Hinton and Samantha Blizzard,who have three children, operated the crooked scam from their front room which they had stocked up like an Aladdin's cave packed with fake branded goods.

The pair, who were spared a spell behind bars when they appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court,, had on offer items including clothing, jewellery, footwear and electrical good.

The 738 items seized in a raid by Trading Standards officers would have been worth over £75,000 if they had not been fakes.

Officers raided the three-bedroomed property in Ashley Crescent "acting on information" just 24 hours after the pair had been to Manchester to buy another £10,000 worth of fake goods.

Their stock included Adidas and Nike trainers, Barbour jackets and bags, clothing bearing the logo Pauls Boutique and Northface, Pandora jewellery, Hunter wellingtons and 90 pairs of Hug boots.

Hinton, aged 41, and Blizzard, aged 35, were brought back before the crown court to face a Proceeds of Crime hearing when Judge Martin Walsh was told their only asset was their home.

The judge was told that Blizzard benefitted from their criminal activity to the tune of £57,756 while Hinton had benefitted by £50,306.

Hinton had disclaimed an interest in their house which carried a mortgage in the name of Blizzard and he was ordered to pay just £1.

But the judge made a confiscation order in the sum of £50,000 against Blizzard and gave them both six months to come up with the money or face 18 months imprisonment.

He said: "If for some good reason the property has not been sold a further application must be made to the court for more time to come up with the money."

Robert Cowley, for the prosecution, said the house, which had been bought in Blizzard’s and had £50,000 in equity, was their only asset.

The couple admitted a string of charges in May last year for breaching trademark regulations and were each sentenced to 16 months in prison suspended for two years.

They were also each ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work in the community and a forfeiture order was made to seize the goods taken from their home by trading standards.

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