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Sex doll company fined for 'try before you buy' offer

UK company's offer costs it £10,000

A sex doll company offering customers the opportunity to 'try before you buy' has been fined £10,000, a council has said.

Gateshead Council said in a statement that LD Europe Limited sold a range of so-called "sex articles", despite lacking the necessary sex establishment licence.

A spokesman said that, upon launching an investigation in January, council officers were invited by the company's owner, Graeme Tulip, to look round the shop's showroom and the "'try before you buy' bedroom", in Felling, Gateshead.

According to the statement, the owner had "already been extensively interviewed in the media, during which he had confirmed he was selling 'sex articles' and offering them for loan".

The council claimed that, as a result of the media attention, the firm was later referred to as a "sex doll brothel".

Following the council's visit, Mr Tulip was supposedly interviewed under caution, at which point he admitted that the business did not have the necessary licence.

The council said that, on June 13, the company was fined £10,000 with £600 costs at Gateshead Magistrates' Court.

The spokesman said that neither Mr Tulip nor his legal representative were at the hearing and, as a result, the company was tried in their absence.

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