Judge offers seized clothes to kids

An estimated €200,000 of counterfeit clothes seized by gardaí could be given to the young people of Portlaoise, following an application at last week’s district court under the Police Property Act.

An estimated €200,000 of counterfeit clothes seized by gardaí could be given to the young people of Portlaoise, following an application at last week’s district court under the Police Property Act.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly made an application for the clothes, counterfeit Paul’s Boutique and Adidas goods, to be forfeited to the State for disposal, in the matter of the DPP versus Zahid Chaudry.

However, Judge Catherine Staines suggested that perhaps the clothes could be given to the local Block Project youth group.

“Adidas might have an issue with that, as the goods are counterfeit,” replied Insp Farrelly. “I can see if they can be used, perhaps by removing the brand names from them.”

“I’m sure they won’t want to wear them then, will they?” Judge Staines lightheartedly remarked.

Judge Staines adjourned the matter for the gardaí to check whether the clothes could be given to the young people of Portlaoise, and ruled that in any event the items will be forfeited to the State.

The clothes were discovered at the home of Pakistani national Zahid Chaudry, at Castle Drive, Kilminchy, Portlaoise, on December 9, 2011.

Detective Garda Pat Donovan gave evidence at the Portlaoise Circuit Court in October, 2013, that the house contained a number of boxes, some full and others half full of garments. There were around 1,000 garments with labels heat pressed onto them, which had been refolded and placed in plastic for transport to markets around Ireland. Dec Donovan said these garments matched those which had already been seized at Irish markets, with a significant load seized by the PSNI in Co Fermanagh.

Also found in the house was a heat press for attaching labels, and 1,000s of sheets containing Adidas and Paul’s Boutique labels.

Dec Donovan said that the value of clothes ready to be sold was €200,000.

Chaudry was found guilty at the circuit court of the fraudulent use of a trademark and given a suspended sentence and community service.