A MAN who tried to sell counterfeit Apple AirPods to an off-duty policeman for £5 has been fined.
Emil Golea approached a man he was later to describe as a “scary fat policeman” and offered him the counterfeit goods, which he had purchased at a car shoe market earlier in the day in London.
Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard the 47-year-old approached him on Havelock Street and asked: ‘Apple AirPods, you want cheap?’
Prosecutor Keith Ballinger said he handed over a white box, initially asking for a price of £5 but then saying “five zero”.
“The officer knew that the AirPods were selling for between £200 and £250 and he suspected that the AirPods were counterfeit or stolen,” he continued. “That’s when the off-duty officer identified himself as a police officer, and the man fled but was arrested shortly after.
“He didn’t realize it was an off-duty policeman. He admitted that the goods he owned were counterfeits and that he was aware of them when he sold them.
Golea, of Hanson Street in Oldham, also said he bought the Apple AirPods Pro at a garage sale in London and then was driven to Swindon to sell the goods.
“This appears to be an offense where there appears to be no real organization or planning,” Ballinger concluded.
By way of mitigation, duty counsel Stephen Collins said his client committed the offenses due to “lack of finances”.
“He’s struggling to find work, and the lack of English is a barrier there,” he said.
“At the moment he depends on Universal Credit,” Mr Collins added, but said that barely covered his rent, so he tries to get “money in manual jobs where he can to to survive”.
“He saw an opportunity to make a few pounds with these items and tried to sell them to what he described as a big, scary policeman.
“In addition to running away from this tall, scary cop, he was otherwise cooperative with officers and made a full confession in an interview.”
Golea pleaded guilty to possession of falsely branded property for sale or rental.
Magistrates fined him £153 and ordered him to pay costs of £85 and a victim fine surcharge of £34.