TRADING standards officers accompanied by police executed a search warrant at a Deeside couple’s home and found a quantity of counterfeit clothes and shoes.

A court heard how items had been posted on Facebook for sale.

Gas and electric engineer Stephen John Shelley, 38, and Jessica Louise Lett, 30, of Chevron’s Road in Connah’s Quay, claimed they got the items from Manchester so their children could have the same designer gear as their peers.

Friends and family asked for the designer clothes too, some changed their minds and they claimed that they were simply trying to get their money back on outstanding stock when they posted them for sale on social media.

But magistrates told them that it grew as their “greed grew”.

The couple, who have three young children, admitted ten trade mark offences and Shelley admitted a charge of participating in a fraudulent business.

Both were placed on 12 month community orders with 140 hours unpaid work. They were each ordered to pay £692 costs with a £95 surcharge.

It was estimated that the genuine trade had lost some £9,000 as a result of the case but that was disputed by the defence.

Tim Dillon, prosecuting for Flintshire Council, told North East Wales magistrates that items were advertised in September of last year on Flintshire Flog It, which had 46,000 followers.

He said messages between the defendants showed that they were selling items for income as early as August 2017.

In December trading standards officers and two police officers executed a search warrant and they were shown to a room where there was a pile of counterfeit clothing and shoes, which were seized.

There were 11 Armani, 35 Adidas, 21 North Face, 14 Mike and nine Hugo Boss items together with six Stone Island T-shirts, three Moncler T-shirts and Timberland boots.

The authorised brand holders confirmed they were counterfeit.

On Shelley’s phone there were multiple hundreds images of branded goods.

Text messages between the two defendants spoke of “happy days”, that they would make enough money to pay for carpets and that they were “raking it in”.

Interviewed, Shelley said he had bought the items in Great Ducie Street in Manchester and went there once every two weeks.

He said it started by buying gifts, but items which were not collected by family or friends or which people did not want he sold to try and get his money back.

Lett had been in a supporting role and went to Manchester twice.

Shelley denied buying in the quantities suggested in some of his messages and said he had been “trying to big himself up”.

Both said they had not realised it was illegal to sell such items.

Lett in her interview said she knew they were fake, got them for family and friends and sold what was over.

Probation officer Pamela Roberts said it started when they wanted to get their children the same clothes as their peers but they were fed up of paying high prices.

Brian Cross, defending, told the Mold court Shelley worked long hours and also did call out work as a gas and electric engineer, and cared for the children at weekends when his wife worked in a corner shop.

He estimated he had spent £2,000 on the items and that his financial gain was about £1,000.

They did not accept the financial loss suggested by the prosecution, said Mr Cross.

Magistrates made an order to confiscate all clothing seized.