A COUPLE who run a convenience store stand accused of selling fake copies of popular tobacco products over the counter to customers.

Catherine Flanagan, 39, and 40-year-old Ismail Maulud are facing a prosecution brought by Durham County Council.

The couple, of Meadow Avenue, Blackhall Colliery, are charged with a mixture of offences of conspiracy to sell and distribute counterfeit cigarettes, relating to brand packaging and misuse of trademarks, plus lack of health warnings on packs.

Some of the charges arise from test purchases at Westlea Foodstore, in West Grove, Seaham, by trading standards officers.

The charges were not put to them at a short hearing at Durham Crown Court, which was adjourned to a further plea hearing, on April 17.

Both were granted bail.