Suspended jail term for man caught selling counterfeit goods

Court
Court

A Polish man caught selling counterfeit goods including fake Calvin Klein underpants on eBay was handed a suspended prison sentence on Thursday after appearing at Belfast Crown Court.

Krzsztof Dawid Jankowski, from Church Street in Portadown, admitted a string of charges including trading in counterfeit goods and selling goods with a registered trademark over a period spanning from August 13 to September 12 last year.

A Crown prosecutor told the court that on September 17 last year, police acting on “intelligence-based information” searched four properties linked to 26-year old Janowski. During one of the searches at a house in Belfast, officers found a large amount of documentation linked to a local courier firm.

When Jankowski’s home in Portadown was searched, items located at this property included two polo shirts bearing a Ralph Lauren logo, one with a Lacoste logo and five pairs of underpants bearing the Calvin Klein logo. Also found were 33 packaging pouches and a small amount of Ecstasy.

When Jankowski was arrested, he initially denied he was selling counterfeit goods. He also indicated that the drugs didn’t belong to him, but were left in his house by others. This account of the drugs, said the prosecutor, was accepted by the Crown.

Also seized during the searches last September was computer equipment. The prosecutor said that following “liaisons” with eBay, it emerged that Jankowski had been trading on the site and offering Ralph Lauren polo shirts and Calvin Klein underwear for sale.

The prosecutor said it later emerged that he had been selling the items at a price which was greatly reduced from the original price - such as £21/£22 for a polo shirt compared to the normal price of around £80.

Despite his initial denials, Jankowski subsequently admitted the charges against him.

Defence barrister Denis Boyd told Judge David McFarland that the amount of items involved was “relatively small.” He also revealed that Jankowski had used eBay to trade legally, and had started trading on the site “in an attempt to better himself when he came to Northern Ireland.”

Mr Boyd also told the court that his client “has certainly learned his lesson” from selling counterfeit items.

Judge McFarland said he accepted that the drugs found in Jankowski’s house didn’t belong to him, which attracted a conditional discharge.

Regarding the counterfeit goods, the Judge said they were being offered at such a price that it would have been obvious to the buyer that they were fake. After handing Jankowski a six month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, Judge McFarland also ordered Jankowski to pay £25 compensation to one of his online customers.