Dodgy software crook busted by snapperBy Hugh Fort
August 22, 2012
A online fraudster was caught and punished thanks to a keen amateur snapper from Binfield who bought his dodgy picture editing software.
Sophie Watson, 34, spotted the Photoshop 5 software being sold for a supposed-bargain price of £120 on the internet bidding site Ebid.
However, after she snapped it up, she noticed something was not right.
She said: “I was looking to buy Photoshop 5 and found a seller on Ebid, who was selling a copy for £120. The seller had great reviews so I went ahead and purchased it.
“When it arrived I thought something wasn’t right – it wasn’t in the original packaging and the instructions had been photocopied. When I tried out the disk it didn’t work.”
After discovering the kit was a dud, she tried contacting the seller, Hereford man Frank Ellis, 48, of Gwynne Street, but had no luck.
So she reported him to Bracknell Forest Council’s trading standards team, who executed a warrant at his home and found more fake software.
Ellis admitted seven charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 at Slough Magistrates Court on Thursday, July 26,
He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work in the community, which was reduced from 300 hours on account of his guilty plea, and ordered to pay £600 court costs and £120 compensation to Sophie.
The fake items he was trying to sell were seized and destroyed.
Vicky Lister, trading standards enforcement officer at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “If something seems too good to be true then it probably is. Sophie was quick to act and report her counterfeit purchase, but many people don’t.”
She added anyone who thinks they may have been victim of a rogue trader can call the team on (01344) 352 000 or visit www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/consumer advice.