Man sentenced for selling fake football shirts

editorial image

A Co Antrim man involved in selling fake football kits has been given a 12-month probation order.

Belfast Magisrates’ Court heard police seized nearly 200 counterfeit tops during a search at 55-year-old Gary Wallace’s home.

Wallace, of Clare Heights in Ballyclare, was convicted of fraud by false representation and selling goods which bore a registered trade mark.

Prosecutors said a customer complained to the PSNI last November about a Northern Ireland football kit purchased from the defendant.

Contact had been made though Facebook and PayPal, the court heard.

Searches at the property led to the recovery of large amounts of tops bearing leading brand names Adidas, Nike, Puma, New Balance and Umbro.

One package was said to be ready to be posted, while up to £2,000 in cash was also located.

Defence counsel John O’Connor told the court his client’s operation escalated after he at first only sold to some friends.

The barrister insisted there was little profit involved, and revealed that the Northern Ireland kit had been bought by the complainant for £27.

“He must have known himself that was not going to be the genuine article,” Mr O’Connor added.

Imposing 12 months probation, District Judge Fiona Bagnall told him: “I take on board all the points you make, but nonetheless it’s on a large enough scale.”