A HUDDERSFIELD man has escaped jail after admitting selling hundreds of fake designer goods in his Dewsbury clothes shop.
Tariq Hanif, of Hill Top, in Slaithwaite, sold hundreds of knock-offs of well-known brands, including Armani, Timberland, Henri Lloyd and Fred Perry at his Corporation Street shop called Earth Menswear.
Hanif was sentenced to a two-year community order, including 180 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £4,843.
The court heard he could have made a profit as high as £31,000 if he had sold all the counterfeit items.
The sentence was passed by Judge Alistair McCallum at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.
Prosecutor Austin Newman applied for all the clothing seized during the investigation to be forfeited and the judge agreed.
Barrister Gillian Batts, for 31-year-old Hanif, described him as a hard-working man with no previous convictions.
She said the married father-of-two ran his own business and the hours involved were lengthy.
He worked in the shop itself and was also responsible for the paperwork and deliveries which took place outside the shop opening hours.
The judge warned Hanif he did not want him to come back later saying he was finding it difficult to do the order, but Miss Batts said Hanif knew it had to be the priority in his life.
The case had been adjourned for sentence after an earlier hearing at Leeds Crown Court.
There it was revealed that much of the stock at the Hanif’s shop was not genuine and trading standards experts estimated that up to £31,000 in profit could have been made had the fake items been sold.
Hanif had pleaded guilty to the 32 counts of unauthorised use of trademarks.
Hanif’s three-floor shop, located in a popular shopping area of the town, had “appeared to be a reputable clothes shop and was professionally fitted out.”
The second floor served as a stock room and the rest of the shop was filled with designer outfits and accessories sold at full retail price.
Judge McCallum heard there were no indications that the goods were anything other than genuine items.
Police and West Yorkshire Trading Standards officials raided the premises on December 12 last year.
They seized 803 items which they suspected were counterfeit and sent them off for analysis to the trade mark holders. A total of 520 pieces of clothing were confirmed as being fake.
In interviews with the police and Trading Standards, Hanif admitted being the owner of the shop and said that he had purchased the clothes from two warehouses in Manchester in good faith.
But he was unable to produce receipts for his purchases and agreed that he had been cautioned for a similar offence a year before when he had bought items from the same suppliers.
Judge McCallum heard Hanif was selling his merchandise at a 50% markup on the original prices he bought them at.