A TRADER who was caught selling fake DVDs from a burger van and then went on the run has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 and carry out 80 hours of unpaid community work.
Following an investigation by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards officers, who were tipped off by a member of the public, Clive Miles, 51, formerly of Sudbury Avenue, Wembley, pleaded guilty for possession and supply of fake DVDs - many of which had just been released in the cinema.
An undercover test purchase of two fake DVDs costing £1 each was made from the trailer which had a permanent pitch at the former GEC Estate, now known as East Lane Business Park, in East Lane, Wembley.
On June 26, 2007, officers supported by Preston Police Safer Neighbourhood Police Team, seized more than 350 DVDs from the defendant who was employed to cook and serve fast food to his customers.
The majority of the seized DVDs were Hollywood titles such as Meet the Robinsons, Spiderman 3, Oceans 13 and The Namesake.
The haul also included some adult content titles. It was estimated the high street value of the DVDs was more than £3,000.
After the seizure the DVDs were sent off for expert examination by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) who confirmed they were counterfeit.
Miles attended an interview where he held his hands up to owning all the discs and admitted selling them on a regular basis.
But he then failed to appear at Brent Magistrates' Court in July 2008 and a warrant was issued fro his arrest.
Further investigation showed he had moved away from the area and for 28 months evaded attempts by officers to contact him. He was eventually tracked down, arrested by Bristol Police and brought back to Brent. He finally pleaded guilty at Brent Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, March 2.
Speaking after the case, Bill Bilon, director of Brent & Harrow Trading Standards, said: “This is just another in a long line of illegal DVD sellers that my officers have brought to book in the past few years.
"This sentence undoubtedly shows that the courts are beginning to acknowledge the fact that the sale of counterfeit goods is a serious matter. This case has also demonstrates defendants who attempt to evade justice by absconding will be tracked down and once located, brought to justice.”