A UK couple who sold fake perfume laced with methanol have been handed an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of over £1,000.
Methanol is toxic, causing skin irritation and can be harmful to eyes and the nervous system.
Forty-six-year-old Paul Adams and 38-year-old Louise Caunt of Burntwood, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to 12 trademark offences involving counterfeit bottles of Christian Dior perfume with harmful levels of methanol, and other fake goods including Rolex watches, branded clothing and electronic items " which have the potential to cause fire or electrocution," according to Staffordshire Trading Standards. If genuine, the goods they sold would be worth around £175,000.
Staffordshire County Council's communities leader Gill Heath said: "This was a highly successful operation backed by the trade mark holders and has prevented potentially hazardous counterfeit perfume and other goods being sold to the public. Our trading standards team acted decisively on what could have been a serious public health risk."
"In addition, the sale of such goods would damage local businesses selling legitimate goods. The sentence may well have been more severe had the couple not been carers. We would again like to remind people of the dangers of counterfeit goods and be particularly careful if buying online. People should report any suspected counterfeit goods sales."