Former Chichester shopkeeper sentenced over fake goods

Counterfeit products seized in Chichester at Gift Express (now closed) in East Street.'PICTURE SUPPLIED BY WEST SUSSEX TRADING STANDARDS
Counterfeit products seized in Chichester at Gift Express (now closed) in East Street.'PICTURE SUPPLIED BY WEST SUSSEX TRADING STANDARDS
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A SHOPKEEPER has avoided jail for selling fake Cath Kidston goods in a city centre shop.

Hosein Vafaie,22, of Blenheim Place, Brighton, pleaded guilty to selling fake products, including counterfeit clothing and accessories at Gift Express, which used to be based in East Street, Chichester.

The sale of counterfeit products is harmful to local traders, particularly in the current economic climate

David Barling, West Sussex County Council cabinet

After pleading guilty in January to six charges, West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards said he was sentenced last week at Worthing Magistrates’ Court.

He was sentenced to 11 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months.

Trading Standards seized 450 items between February and March, 2014.

“The seized items were sent for examination and were all confirmed as counterfeit,” said a Trading Standards spokesman.

David Barling, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for residents services with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “The sale of counterfeit products is harmful to local traders, particularly in the current economic climate.

“When purchasing counterfeit products, residents are likely to be unaware of the origin of such items, particularly if they are not subjected to the stringent quality controls you would expect from a genuine product.

“This is another positive outcome for consumers in West Sussex and, of course, our local businesses so I would like to thank our Trading Standards team for another excellent job.”

The fake goods bore well-known brands, such as Cath Kidston and Obey.

Vafaie was also handed an 18-week curfew to be monitored by an electronic tag and ordered to pay a contribution of £1,500 towards legal costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

West Sussex County Council urged anyone concerned about the sale of counterfeit goods or a possible scam to contact the Citizens Advice 
Consumer Service for advice on 03454 04 05 06.

People can also report incidents direct to West Sussex Trading Standards by going to its website which is at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport