Thousands of seized counterfeit children’s shoes sold to unwitting customers on eBay have been shredded.

The remains of the fake Lelli Kelly and Disney branded footwear, seized from a Tolworth couple last January, will now be sent abroad to be incinerated.

Kingston Council had planned to give the Chinese made shoes to charity but said this week that taking the labels off the shoes would ruin them.

They also said the shoe companies had concerns the distinctive shoes would corrupt their brand if they were sent abroad.

David Booker, of Kingston trading standards, said: “It would have been far better to go to a third world country where they would have been perfectly good shoes but by the nature of global trade it is all too easy for things to come back. We couldn’t ship them to Outer Mongolia because I’m sure they would find a way of coming back.”

Antoine Simhani, 46, a Ministry of Justice official from Tolworth, was jailed for 27 months in December for six specimen counts of using a trademark illegally.

His former partner Fan Fanny Cheung, 43, was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence and allowed to walk free.

Investigators found about 10,000 shoes packed in boxes in an outhouse at their Tolworth Rise South home.

Some of the shoes will be handed back to the couple because prosecutors could not prove they were a breach of trademark.

Their criminality came to light when a Fife woman bought shoes for her daughter and they fell apart.

Kingston Council is still seeking to use powers to claw back as much of the estimated £230,000 the pair made from sales during a confiscation hearing due in May.