Issued By
Lancashire County Council

Web of Deceit

A Nelson man has been ordered to carry out unpaid community work after selling counterfeit compact discs on the Internet.

Ronald Ashworth, aged 37, appeared yesterday (22.1.03) for sentencing at Burnley Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to six offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 brought by Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards Department.

The court heard how in July 2001, a complaint had been received that fake CDs were being advertised on Ashworth’s website. When Ashworth’s home at Brookbank in Barrowford was later raided trading standards officers seized more than 270 pirated music, Playstation and computer CDs together with computer equipment and customer order forms. Describing Ashworth’s activities as a well-orchestrated attempt to defraud genuine trademark holders, officers estimated that the discs would have been worth at least £5000 at current high street prices.

On behalf of Ashworth magistrates heard that he regretted the offences which he had committed to make some extra money for his family. The court was also told that he has a disabled child to care for and that his wife is currently expecting a second child.

Describing Ashworth’s activities as a sophisticated attempt to defraud traders, magistrates imposed a Community Penalty Order totalling 40 hours and informed him that were it not for his family commitments the penalty would have been much higher. He was also ordered to pay towards prosecution costs and to forfeit all the counterfeit discs and computer equipment seized from his home.

For further information please contact: Clare Ianson on 01772 263537