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Pirate Southall DVD dealer slapped with suspended sentence
30 January 2007

A Southall businessman found guilty of dealing counterfeit DVDs has received more than he bargained for following court action by Ealing Council and police.

In Isleworth Crown Court yesterday (29 January), Tahir Javed, of 101 Beaconsfield Road in Southall, pleaded guilty to various offences under Section 92 of the Trademarks Act 1994 in two separate cases brought by the council and police.

The court heard how Javed had stocked pirate Bollywood, Hollywood and pornographic DVDs in his shop on Featherstone Road in Southall.

He was effectively given a nine-month sentence (three months for one case and six months for the other – both suspended for two years), and ordered to do 50 hours of unpaid work and pay £1000 in court costs.

The 7503 DVDs, 428 video cassettes and 198 DVD inlays seized by Ealing Council Trading Standards and police will now be destroyed and the materials will be recycled.

Councillor Will Brooks, cabinet member for environment and transport, who has responsibility for trading standards, said: “If Javed even attempts to revert back to old habits he will find himself in jail for nine months, so this is a strong result for the council and police.

“In the meantime, the 50 hours of community service and substantial court costs will certainly give him something to think about.

“Piracy is a serious crime with serious consequences and our action sends a clear message that we won’t let it go unpunished.”

Film piracy may seem like a victimless crime but it has links to organised crime and other criminal activity including the drugs market, violence and benefit fraud. When consumers buy a pirate DVD, not only do they risk viewing a poor quality film, they are also supporting organised crime.

Building safer communities is one of the council’s three priorities. Cleaner streets and providing value for money services are the council’s other two priorities.

Community and Partnership Superintendent Ian Jenkins, of Ealing Borough Police, said: "Ealing Borough Police would urge people who buy pirate DVDs thinking that it is harmless to consider what their money is funding and ask themselves if they want to be funding criminals and criminality.

“We will continue to gather intelligence and evidence against people who continue to break the law to combat this sort of offence. We are fully committed to targeting and prosecuting criminals that are involved in counterfeit sales and distribution.”

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