A MAN from Thornbury has pleaded guilty in court to selling and possessing counterfeit fitness goods and fined £790.

Lee Allen, of Hay Fields in Thornbury, appeared before Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 21 after being caught selling Beachbody branded fitness disc box sets and Adidas trainers online in 2013.

Investigators had trawled online to apprehend Allen, who was caught along with another counterfeiter of the same products, Darren Morgan, of Choke Walk, Brislington.

Morgan also pleaded guilty and was given 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and victim surcharges.

The two men had been investigated separately by brand representatives for Beachbody who had initially made test purchases over a period of time.

In court it was disclosed that Allen had been selling counterfeit Beachbody items through Gumtree at least since 2013. Undercover investigators had even met him in person in a Bristol car park to buy one counterfeit Beachbody product. Between 2013 and 2015 he had been served with two ‘cease and desist’ letters by representatives of Beachbody.

South Gloucestershire Council’s Trading Standards team executed warrants at the addresses of both men in September 2015 and detained quantities of counterfeit goods from both premises, along with laptops, phones and relevant paperwork.

A quantity of counterfeit Adidas footwear was seized from Allen’s home address, where Trading Standards also discovered the ‘cease and desist’ letters that had been sent to him, along with hand written orders for local customers, again suggesting a cash sales side to his enterprise.

As part of the successful prosecution of both men, the court also ordered all of the items that we detained from Morgan and Allen to be destroyed.

Cllr Heather Goddard, cabinet member for communities and tourism, said: “Selling counterfeit items is a criminal offence for which you can be successfully prosecuted and fined.

“Therefore this case should act as a deterrent to anyone thinking of running a similar business.”

Neil Derrick, senior fair trade officer for South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards, added: “Investigators are actively monitoring Facebook and other online sales platforms and the use of false identities will not prevent us from bringing offenders to justice, as this case demonstrates.”