Belfast Telegraph

Bootlegger avoids jail after fake goods found at her home

By Ashleigh McDonald

A woman caught with cocaine and counterfeit clothing has been spared a prison sentence.

Donna Clarke (55), from Antrim Road in Newtownabbey, was given a suspended sentence for four offences arising from a police search of her home on September 26, 2012.

A prosecutor told Belfast Crown Court that officers found gloves, hats and boots bearing the Ugg logo. They also found 15 pairs of boots emblazoned with the Paul's Boutique logo, along with five jackets branded Lacoste.

The court heard that all the items "proved to be counterfeit".

Also located during the search were 16 small bags containing a total of 27.23 grams of the class A drug cocaine.

The prosecutor said the Crown accepted "there was someone more sinister in the background", adding there was a "degree of pressure" placed on Clarke that fell just short of duress.

She admitted to possessing cocaine with intent to supply and three counts of trading in counterfeit products.

Defence barrister Des Fahy reiterated that "an (unnamed) individual was exerting a malignant influence" on his client.

Mr Fahy also revealed that Clarke was a carer for her mother and that she had "significant health issues of her own".

Judge Gordon Kerr handed the defendant a 30-month jail term, suspended for three years.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph