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Piracy: West Midlands knock-off king jailed

Sometimes, piracy REALLY doesn't pay...
Sometimes, piracy REALLY doesn't pay...

A 38-year-old West Midlands man has been found guilty of copying and selling hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of games, movies and music and sentenced to three years in prison.

Steven Raymond of Dudley was sentenced on Friday at Wolverhampton Crown Court along with his girlfriend, Julie Frendo, who received a one-year sentence, suspended for 18 months.

On and offline

The pair were pursued by West Midlands Police, Wolverhampton Trading Standards and ELSPA over four years of profiting on a range of copyright material, both online and at public stalls.

Bizarrely, the clearly jubilant ELSPA press release details how Raymond and Frendo lived such a life of luxury they "even enjoyed a brief dalliance with celebrity by appearing in a health and fitness article in The Sun."

Warning to buyers

Quite how being featured in a tabloid as a case study on weight-loss surgery qualifies as celebrity escapes us, but there is a lesson to be learned by the rest of us.

ELSPA reminds us, "often, pirated games do not run properly – and some can even damage the expensive consoles in which they are played." In other words, don't even think about buying knock-offs this Christmas – or else.