Five fraudsters who admitted selling counterfeit handbags and purses have been spared jail.

Thurrock Council’s Trading Standards team carried out a four-year investigation into people suspected of importing, manufacturing, distributing and selling counterfeit handbags, purses, clothing and perfume.

They are Laura O’Keefe, 36, of Howell Drive, Corringham, Kimberley Chalk, 41, of Rookery View, Grays, Toni Noonan, 45, of Oakway, Grays, Jacklyn Grimes, 47, of Cample Lane, South Ockendon and Mohammed Haydari, 37, of Great Galley Close, Barking.

In 2013 and 2014, several warrants were carried out at their homes after officers received complaints about suspect Facebook pages.

Mobile phones and computers were taken for inspection and suspected counterfeit goods were seized and found to be fake after analysis by experts.

In October 2014, officers teamed up with colleagues from Essex Police, Metropolitan Police and Waltham Forest Trading Standards to execute three more warrants simultaneously.

Officers targeted the home of Grimes, the former home of Haydrari in Walthamstow and two storage units used by Haydari in Leytonstone.

At Haydari’s home, officers seized mobile phones, a laptop, self-storage paperwork and cash.

In the self-storage units officers found more than 1,200 fake handbags, purses, watches and accessories. They also seized 5,900 unbranded handbags and 7,500 branded badges and zips ready to make counterfeit goods.

At Grimes’ home, officers seized 1,100 fake handbags, purses and accessories as well as 600 branded badges ready to be applied to handbags and purses.

The investigation revealed that Grimes was importing the badges and supplying products to Noonan and others – including via her Facebook page Jackies Bits and Bobs.

Judge Ian Graham said: “This was a significant and long-running enterprise and it is clear that large quantities of income and profit were generated.”

He described Haydari as being “at the top of the supply chain” and “instrumental in the importation of these goods”.

They were each handed suspended sentences, totalling 70 months, and order to carry out 700 hours of community service between them.