A MAN caught in north Cumbria with around £23,000 of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco has been sentenced by a judge.
Shaun Dalrymple, 35, was stopped on the M6 close to Plumpton, between Penrith and Carlisle, on January 31 this year.
Police brought his vehicle to a halt after learning it was unregistered.
When it was searched, bags full of products which purported to be Golden Leaf and Amber Leaf hand-rolling tobacco, and packets of Mayfair and Benson and Hedges cigarettes.
“The total retail value is in the region of £23,000,” prosecutor Jacob Dyer told Carlisle Crown Court. “As far as the goods are concerned, they were examined and found to be counterfeit goods.”
Dalrymple, of South Middleton, Uphall, Broxburn, West Lothian, admitted four charges of unauthorised possession of trademarked goods.
The court was told he had been returning north from Manchester, where he had collected the haul “for somebody else”.
After hearing mitigation, Mr Recorder Taylor suspended an eight-month jail term for 12 months.
Dalrymple was also ordered to complete 40 hours’ unpaid work and pay £1,000 prosecution costs.
Cllr Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “These are serious criminal offences. Illegal sales of tobacco in Cumbria have a huge impact on people’s health.
“When these counterfeit products are sold, considerably below the price of the legal product, they undermine the efforts to reduce the prevalence of smoking. They also encourage people who want to quit to maintain their habit.”
“We will not tolerate the illegal sales of tobacco and will continue to take firm action to stop this type of activity by using our enforcement powers against those we catch.
“Our officers routinely act on intelligence we receive, as they did in this case, so I would encourage consumers to continue to report those involved in selling illicit tobacco because their valuable information can significantly aid our investigations.”
Colin Cox, Director of Public Health at Cumbria County Council, said:
“Young people are particularly at risk from the illegal trade in selling counterfeit tobacco products.
“I would encourage anyone with information about illegal tobacco sellers to report them to Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06.”