Leeds trader jailed for selling pirated DVDs

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A TRADER who sold pirated DVDs from his shop in Leeds despite repeated raids by trading standards officers has been jailed.

Mohammed Bashir was given a 12 month sentence over the illegal operation he ran at Jav’s Videos on Brudenell Road, Hyde Park.

Leeds Crown Court heard Bashir made a profit of around £22,000 during the period of the illegal operation and cost the film industry around £25,000.

The court heard the business graduate’s operation was illegal from the outset after he bought the premises from his brother, who had been prosecuted for similar offending.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards officers searched the premises on three occasions between September 2012 and August 2013 and found his entire stock of DVDs to be illegally copied. Officers seized his stock but when they returned to the premises he had replaced them with more pirated DVDs.

A total of 3,533 DVDs were seized in total. When interviewed about the offences, Bashir told officers each disk cost him around 20p to produce, which he then sold for £2.50 each.

Films including Ted and Gangster Squad were among the titles of the DVDs seized.

He said he sold around 30 to 40 during the week and around 60 to 70 on a weekend.

Bashir pleaded guilty to six breaches of the Trademarks Act and one of participating in a fraudulent business.

The court heard Bashir, 30, had graduated from Bradford University in 2006 with a business degree.

He had operated a number of business which had all failed and was made bankrupt in 2009.

Phillip Ainge, mitigating, said Bashir carried out the offences as he was in debt to family members.

Mr Ainge said Bashir had previously bought a number of off-licence businesses but they had all failed.

He added that his client was sorry for his offending.

Judge Penelope Belcher said: “He may be remorseful now but he didn’t show any remorse at the initial stages.”

The judge told Bashir “It is a particularly aggravating feature that you took on this business and continued to operate it knowing that it was illegal. What is plain is that you nevertheless carried on regardless.”

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