Two antique weapons dealers have been fined after selling guns and war memorabilia which were not genuine.

Brothers David and Mark Hawkins described an 1873 Colt Peacemaker revolver for sale in their Brighton shop as a genuine collector's item.

But Hove Crown Court heard that although it was a genuine Colt, it was a third generation copy made between 1976 and 1986.

It was sold to collector Peter Swann after he spotted it in the window of The Lanes Armoury in Meeting House Lane, Brighton, in June 1997.

Paul Rogers, prosecuting, said Mr Swann paid £2,000 for it but he later discovered that it did not date from 1873 as claimed.

The court heard genuine examples from that date in only fair condition could fetch anything up to £30,000.

Mr Swann reported the Hawkins brothers to trading standards officers and after threatening legal action was eventually given his money back.

Trading standards officers had also received a complaint that the brothers had sold Nazi memorabilia to Stuart Foster, a kidney dialysis patient from Northamptonshire, in September 1996.

Mr Rogers said: "He was a visitor to Brighton at the time and walked past their shop in The Lanes. Mr Foster saw they were selling a German paratrooper's badge and wanted to buy it but did not have enough money with him.

"He returned home and asked his mother to buy it for him as he was building up a collection of German World War II memorabilia.

"The badge was described as an SS combat clasp made in bronze and awarded for bravery with a card denoting that it was genuine.

"When an expert later examined the clasp it was found to be made of a soft, malleable metal commonly used to make cheap jewellery and that it was a post-war copy."

David and Mark Hawkins both admitted four offences of supplying and giving false trades descriptions to both items.

A further 12 charges relating to a gold German war cross, an SS officer's sabre, a gold Nazi Party badge, a 12-year SS silver medal, a gold partisan SS badge and a 75 combat badge were ordered to lie on file.

Jeremy Gold, defending Mark Hawkins, 43, said his client ran the business in partnership with his younger brother David, 32.

He said: "The revolver is a genuine weapon manufactured by Colt and original revolvers have enormous value.

"They accept that there was an obligation to make it clear that it was not manufactured in 1873 but only in 1973.

"The clasp was one of many items sold to Mr Foster by the shop in the course of him assembling a collection of Nazi memorabilia.

"The majority of things sold to him were absolutely genuine."

Mark Hawkins was fined £3,300 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs and £100 compensation.

David Hawkins was fined £2,200 and ordered to pay 2,000 costs and £50 compensation.