Judge says 'there's one born every minute' after court hears man was conned at a car park in Belfast over 'Emporio Armani' suits

Judge says 'there's one born every minute' after court hears man was conned at a car park in Belfast over 'Emporio Armani' suits

A JUDGE said "there's one born every minute" in relation to a person who was the victim of fraud after buying what he was told were 'Emporio Armani' suits and jackets from a man in a Belfast car park.

District Judge Mark Hamill was speaking at Newtownards Magistrates Court as a defence lawyer said one would have to "question the wisdom" of purchasing items from somebody in a shopping centre car park.

Ciro Gallo, aged 55 according to the date of birth on the charge sheet, with an address listed as Old Channel Road in Belfast, pleaded guilty to charges of possessing articles in connection with fraud.

The details of the first charge were that on September 23 this year he made a false representation to a man 'that the four jackets and two suits sold to him for a total cost of 350 and 50 Euros were all Emporio Armani merchandise'.

The second charge was that he had in his possession for use in fraud 'an assortment of jackets, suit jackets, shopping bags, plastic clothing covers, clothing tags and price tags'.

The defendant appeared at court via video link from Maghaberry Prison and had the assistance of an Italian language interpreter.

A prosecutor said a man said he was the victim of fraud at Forestside car park in Belfast and when interviewed the defendant admitting meeting the man.

Gallo said he had advertised clothes as 'Emporio' and not as 'Emporio Armani'.

He said he worked for what the prosecutor described as "Emporio Fashions" and Gallo had claimed it was "a trade mark registered in London".

The prosecutor said Trading Standards confirmed it was a company registered to Gallo of which he was a "sole director" but it was "not a registered trade mark".

The prosecutor said the defendant had no record in Northern Ireland, Court News NI can report.

A defence lawyer said the defendant said he came to Northern Ireland for two weeks for a holiday and intends to go back to London "and then on to Italy".

The lawyer said the defendant had spent a number of weeks in custody on remand.

At court Gallo was given a four months jail term, suspended for three years.

Judge Hamill said as a vehicle had been used in connection with dishonesty he was banning the defendant from driving for nine months.