Bristol games pirate walks the plank

15 months jail + £22,500 fine = total ownage
15 months jail + £22,500 fine = total ownage

A Bristol man has been sentenced to 15 months in jail and a £12,000 fine after being found guilty of 23 different piracy offences, amounting to possession of, and intent to sell, £50,000 worth of copied games, films, music and pornography.

51 year-old Gary Boulter was caught after a tip-off reached South Gloucestershire Trading Standards, who heard he was running a "copying factory" at his home.

When the warrant was executed by Avon and Somerset Police, Trading Standards, ELSPA and BPI, it was revealed that he had a whole room set up specially for his piracy business.

In subsequent interviews, Boulter claimed that he did the copying as a hobby, and only supplied to friends and family for no cost.

However, forensic examination of his computer showed he was copying to order from contacts.

'Dealt with severely'

Boulter will be jailed for 15 months, ordered to pay £12,000 in prosecution costs and a further £10,500 confiscation order based on the retail value of the copies he sold.

If he can't stump up the cash within six months, he'll have an extra nine months added to his stint in the slammer.

Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said: "I congratulate South Gloucestershire Trading Standards and local Police for successfully shutting down Gary Boulter's criminal operation.

"ELSPA would like to thank everyone concerned in their attempts to protect legitimate local traders and remove illegal products from the marketplace."

Neil Derrick, Senior Enforcement Officer for South Gloucestershire Trading Standards, said "Mr Boulter has been dealt with severely by the court today and this should stand as a stern warning to others who are tempted to engage in this type of activity."