By Stuart Forbes
In dramatic scenes at Greenwich Magistrate’s Court, Yni Lai, 32, from China, who spoke through a Mandarin interpreter, fell to the floor as her sentence was read out. Her screams of “I can’t go back!” and “Please! I have no money for my children!” rang out through the courtroom.
As the woman lay on the floor of the dock, the judge swiftly left the courtroom as barristers spoke amongst themselves.
Lai, arrested by Lewisham police on Tuesday in possession of 260 fake DVDs and six unclassified pornographic DVDs, will serve 60 days in prison before being deported. She was cautioned for a similar offence in September this year.
The counterfeit operation
The defence told the court how she was illegally trafficked to Britain in the back of a lorry, stowed between crates of white goods. Upon her arrival, Lai had “no means of supporting herself” and was “clearly a mere foot soldier” in the counterfeiting operation.
An unknown man would leave scores of DVDs behind a bush in Lewisham and, once the goods had been sold, she would deposit payment in the same place.
The presiding magistrate said, given Lai’s lack of address and the volume of DVDs involved, no community penalty would be appropriate.
Kieron Sharp, Director General of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), said: “The sale of counterfeit DVDs in south-east London is part of a wider national problem. There are sophisticated organised criminal enterprises making substantial profits from their illegal operations and we are working with the police and councils across the UK to target them.”