August, Gateshead MBC's trading standards officers and Northumbria
Police mounted a joint operation, to ensure that only genuine merchandise
was sold to the thousands of fans going to the concert.
In the first of four prosecutions brought by Gateshead MBC, Steven
Delfinis of Stretford, Manchester, pleaded guilty at Gateshead magistrates
court to two offences of selling tour programmes, which had not been
produced by Bon Jovi Inc.
Trading standards officers from Gateshead MBC had actually caught Mr
Delphinis selling the programmes twice within the space of three hours
outside of the venue.
Magistrates took this into consideration when they fined him£300 for the
first offence,£400 for the second offence, and ordered him to pay an
additional£50 in costs.
The programmes, seized on the day, have been ordered by the magistrates to
be forfeited and now will be destroyed by Gateshead MBC.
Bill Colwill, head of commercial and consumer services for Gateshead MBC
said: 'We were extremely pleased that magistrates decided to hand out such a
substantial fine - it will hopefully be a deterrent to others in the future.
'The programmes seized were of inferior quality, with numerous typing
mistakes, poor artwork and bad quality photographs.
'Anyone who buys goods like this outside a venue will only be disappointed
with their quality.
'I would recommend only buying official merchandise from inside the arena -
then you know you are getting the real thing.'
Of the remaining cases, one has been adjourned, and warrants for the arrest
of two other defendants have been issued.