An Iranian man who claimed to be looking after his friend’s shop in Sutton for half an hour has been sentenced for selling ‘potentially dangerous’ counterfeit cigarettes.
Bestoon Alizadeh, 22, of York Road, Edgbaston, pleaded guilty at Mansfield Magistrates court to three counts of selling counterfeit cigarettes and two of supplying a dangerous product.
Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) trading standards officers visited the shop on Outram Street on February 12, where they asked Alizadeh for cheap cigarettes.
When he sold them a pack for £3.50, the officers searched the premises and seized 54 packets of cigarettes and 21 pouches of tobacco.
Nicola Schofield from the council’s trading standards team said: “Mr Alizadeh said he was just waiting for a friend who owned the shop but couldn’t give exact details of him.
“He said he didn’t know the cigarettes were counterfeit.”
She said tests revealed the cigarettes posed a fire risk as they were not self-extinguishing.
The court heard Alizadeh has a previous conviction for the same offence from last year.
David Cusack, mitigating, said: “He met the owner of the shop in Birmingham and was visiting when the owner asked him to mind the shop for 30 minutes.”
He said on that occasion Alizadeh’s fine was paid by friends as he was not allowed to work by the Government.
The court heard the defendant came to this country five years ago after suffering persecution in Iran and was seeking asylum.
Deputy District Judge Derek French said: “This is made more serious because you have a previous conviction for a similar offence. There’s evidence that the items being sold were potentially dangerous.”
Judge French handed Alizadeh a 12 month community order and ordered him to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.
He must also pay half the prosecution costs which amounted to £470 with a £60 victim surcharge.
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