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‘Brazen’ trader selling dodgy FA Cup programmes to Wembley fans spared jail

PUBLISHED: 10:57 10 April 2017

Davis' 'Event Times' magazines which duped football fans looking to buy official match day programmes. (Photo: Brent Council)

Davis' 'Event Times' magazines which duped football fans looking to buy official match day programmes. (Photo: Brent Council)

Archant

A trader caught selling illicit match day programmes which could have fleeced football fans out of £45,000 over the 2015 FA Cup semi-final weekend was spared jail last week.

Brandon Davis, 52, of Abbey Orchard Street in Westminster, was branded “arrogant” and “brazen” by a judge after he was found guilty of multiple breaches of the Trade Marks Act and handed a 14-month prison term suspended for two years.

Jurors at Harrow Crown Court heard that Davis attempted to exploit a loophole in the legislation by trying to flog 6,000 ‘Event Times’ booklets under the guise of being newspapers on April 18 and 19, 2015.

However, the publications clearly misled football fans who handed over £10 - double the price of an official match day programme - thinking Davis’ were the real deal.

One fan told the court how she was duped into believing the programme was official before being left disappointed and out of pocket when she realised this was not the case.

Evidence at his trial also revealed the organisation and scale behind the plot.

Davis and his company - Brandon Davis Publishing Limited - printed off the booklets before the trader commissioned a sales and marketing agency of more than 30 employees to sell the magazines over the two days.

The magazines also contained a number of registered trademarks, included the official club badges of Arsenal and Liverpool, which Davis had no permission to use.

Despite lowering the price to £5 on the second day, the trader still stood to earn up to £45,000 from the ruse.

Trading Standards officers have now started confiscation proceedings against Mr Davis and the company.

Cllr Tom Miller, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said: “Football fans come to Wembley to support their teams and enjoy a memorable day out - they are not here to be ripped off by dodgy traders hoping to make a quick buck.

“The outcome of this case serves as a warning to others considering selling counterfeit goods in Brent, be it in shops, on stalls, on the streets or online, that crime simply doesn’t pay.

“We want Brent to be a place where genuine and legitimate businesses thrive, and traders that flout the rules will be taken through the courts.”

Davis was also ordered to wear an electronic tag and comply with a curfew from 8pm to 7am for six months on April 6.

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