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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Fake-toy importer extradited
Bob the Builder
Butterworth imported fake Bob the builder toys
A man from Harrogate who imported thousands of fake branded soft toys into the country and then fled justice has been extradited back to the UK from Spain.

Philip Butterworth, of Sovereign House, Sovereign Park, in the North Yorkshire town had been sentenced to two-and-a-half years jail in his absence in August 2002 for bringing in the counterfeit toys.

Butterworth had imported over 350,000 soft toys including Tweenies, Doodles, Bob the Builder, Pilchard the Cat and Rugrats characters which were supplied to a number of amusement arcades for use as prizes on crane grab machines.

He was arrested in Spain and held in custody before being extradited to face a judge at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday.

Suspicious wording

Norfolk Trading Standards officers applied for Butterworth's extradition after the toys were spotted with suspicious wording on the safety labels and the copyright holder - the BBC - confirmed the toys were not genuine.

A raid by Trading Standards on Butterworth's business premises in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, revealed documents showing large quantities of unlicensed and counterfeit toys had been imported.

Butterworth had pleaded guilty to 20 counts of importing counterfeit toys valued at 333,377 from China between June and November 2000.

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