Couple’s £25,000 Disney film scam

A couple have been ordered to pay £25,000 they made selling pirate Disney films on internet sites.

David and Maria Hancock, from Newport, south Wales, admitted selling more than 1,000 DVDs. Trading standards officers posed as buyers to trace them.

The judge at Newport Crown Court described the pair as "decent people" who became hooked on internet trading.

He sentenced them both to 12 months' conditional discharge and ordered them to pay £25,149 within a year.

Trading standards officers found films such as Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and Lady and the Tramp in a raid on the couple's £275,000 Newport home.

The Hancocks' computer revealed they had sold 1,394 DVDs on eBay and Amazon.


Maria Hancock, 36, made £24,015 and her  husband, 32, made £1,134 from selling films.

The couple have now put their home on the market to raise the money they have been ordered to pay back under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Prosecutor Lee Reynolds said: "Mrs Hancock originally bought them for her own use but having bought them she decided to buy more to sell on."

The court heard the pair bought films from Thailand for £7 each, then sold them on for £12.

Henry Stevens, defending, said the couple needed cash to care for their three young children.

Mr Stevens said: "The couple admitted the offences from the start. They have now set up a business selling clothes on eBay."

Judge Patrick Curran said: "You are decent people who got involved in internet trading.

"Perhaps this will be a lesson to anybody who gets involved in trading counterfeit goods. The punishment can be ruinous."


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