A TRAINEE ACCOUNTANT and international ping-pong player has received a suspended jail term for creating a false alter ego, dubbing himself Rodney Trotter in a brazen bid to sell counterfeit goods on Facebook.
25-year-old Ryan William Flood admitted 19 offences under the Trademarks Act and was sent to Merthyr Crown Court for sentence, Wales Online reports.
Prosecutor Justin Davies said trading standards officers had spotted the Facebook page offering “dodgy gear for sale” as part of its general internet monitoring.
“It offered for sale what appeared to be designer products that cost significantly less than if genuine,” said Mr Davies.
A sting operation was set up and goods worth £150, including a Rolex watch and DVDs were ordered through the site.
They then arranged to meet Flood on October 21 last year outside a Spar shop in Merthyr Tydfil.
Flood’s home was then raided in December and an Aladdin’s cave of counterfeit goods were recovered. He claimed to be unaware that selling the goods was illegal.
Andrew Davies, defending, said Flood, who moved to Cardiff in August 2010 to train at the Welsh Institute of Sport, was a talented young man, having trained with the national table tennis squad and aimed to compete in the Olympics.
Mr Davies said Flood, who has no previous convictions, had the support of the Welsh Table Tennis Association to help him set up a local academy. He said Flood, who has a daughter with his partner and is father to her older child, had also embraced the parenting of his partner’s family following a death.
“At the time these offences were committed there were particular pressures on the family unit,” added Mr Davies.
Judge Richard Twomlow sentenced Flood to eight months in prison but suspended it for 12 months.
“All your customers knew very well they were buying counterfeit goods so nobody was being deceived, said the judge.
“Having strayed from the proper path you seem to be back on it.”
Flood was ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and will face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing next year.
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