The Public Protection Partnership (PPP) is a shared service of Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council and delivers trading standards, environmental health and licensing functions. Following a long and complex investigation by the PPP, a trio were sentenced for conspiring to sell counterfeit goods.
At Reading Crown Court on 27 April 2018, Mr James Weller and Jade Wyllie both of Ormonde Road, Wokingham; were each sentenced after pleading guilty to one count that between 25 of February 2013 and the 8 of March 2016, conspiring to sell and/or expose for sale counterfeit goods contrary to Criminal Law Act 1977. In addition they were each sentenced on one count that between the 25 of February 2013 and the 8 of March 2016, they each converted or transferred property, namely money, knowing or suspecting it to be criminal property, contrary the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
In the dock with them was Jade Jewell of Wansbeck Green, Taunton was also sentenced after pleading guilty to one count that between the 25 of February 2013 and the 30 of June 2014. She conspired with James Weller and/or with persons unknown to sell and/or expose for sale counterfeit goods contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977; and one count that between the 25 of February 2013 and the 30 of June 2014, she converted or transferred property, namely money, knowing or suspecting it to be criminal property the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The sentencing followed a long and complex investigation by the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) Trading Standards Service. His Honour Judge Dugdale stated that they had effectively stolen someone else’s intellectual property rights and said it was nothing short of theft. In referring to the counterfeiting offences, he stated that the defendants were not just ‘doing it’ but were ‘seriously doing it’ and ignored warnings from brand holders, etc. He described Mr Weller and Ms Wyllie as being ‘extensively involved’ and was ‘quite sure’ they both were aware that Trading Standards would eventually be investigating them. He considered Mr Weller to be the ‘driving force’ with a view to making profit. He accepted Ms Jewell had less involvement but was nevertheless aware that what she was doing was wrong.
They were sentenced as follows:
- James Weller was handed a 16 months suspended sentence (reduced from 20 months because of guilty plea) suspended for 18 months, a 12 month community order of 200 hours unpaid work and accredited program of 30 sessions.
- Jade Wyllie was sentenced to 9 months suspended sentence (reduced from 12 months for her guilty plea) and a 12 month Community Order of 200 hours unpaid work
- Jade Jewell was sentenced to a 12 month community order of 120 hours unpaid work. Nil costs. Victim surcharge of £60
- a timetable was set for confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Steve Loudoun (Bracknell Forest), Chairman of the Public Protection Partnership Management Board said:
“This was a very complex investigation which drew on skills from across the Public Protection Partnership. The penalties which included two suspended prison sentences clearly indicate the severity of the offending in this case in that the defendants did not just sell counterfeit goods but conspired with others to do so. We would like to acknowledge the support of our colleagues from Reading Borough Council for their support”.