Man jailed for selling fake photgraphy and electronic goods

James McGovern

James McGovern

First published in News

A man who sold hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fake goods was told he had let down the country that gave him shelter.

James McGovern, who was given asylum in Britain, was jailed for more than three years after selling in excess of £300,000 of counterfeit camera batteries and accessories.

A seven-week trial heard how the 27-year-old traded under the business name of Hot Deal using the Amazon Marketplace to advertise goods and used big-brand names like Canon, Nikon and Casio. But Portsmouth Crown Court heard how police investigated when they were made aware he was transferring large sums of money out of the country to China and Taiwan.

Test purchases then confirmed products were not genuine.

Trading Standards officers raided his home in Hamble High Street in May 2012 and found bags and boxes full of batteries, electronic goods and camera accessories as well as unbranded items with separate packaging and instruction manuals. McGovern, who first came to England as an asylum seeker from China in 2003, made £353,421 in sales over 15 months, the court heard.

McGovern, now of Sapphire Court, Ocean Village, had denied the charges and claimed he was unaware the goods were counterfeit until shortly before his arrest.

But jurors found him guilty on 14 charges of unauthorised use of a trademark and one of acquiring criminal property.

Benjamin Aina QC, mitigating, said no members of the public had been harmed by the counterfeit items and that in many cases the goods had worked and customers had been happy.

He also spoke of the emotional trauma of McGovern’s childhood in China and the stress of the trial which included the apparent murder of his parents when he was young, Judge Iain Pearson acknowledged.

Jailing him for three years and three months, the judge said: “Your arrogance caused you to believe you were above the law.”

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