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Shop owner sentenced for explicit DVDs

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 09, 2014

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A FORMER shop owner from Burton who was caught selling explicit DVDs has been handed a 12-month community order and told he must complete 120 hours of unpaid work.

Nadeem Raja, 27, of South Oak Street, pleaded guilty to four charges relating to the supply of explicit material without a classification and in a place other than a licensed sex shop, as well as infringing copyright laws.

Burton Magistrates’ Court heard how a team from East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council made a visit to Booze City in Derby Street on April 25 last year after a complaint was made that explicit material was being sold on the premises.

Khalid Mahmood, prosecuting on behalf of Staffordshire County Council, said: “During this visit 36 DVDs were seized. On June 10 a sample of six was sent away and on June 18 we received a report stating that out of these six, three DVDs were genuine, however they were classified as R18, a restricted classification. They are only permitted for sale in licensed cinemas and sex shops.”

In addition, the other three DVDs that had been sent away were found to be copies of the original disks, meaning that they had infringed section 114 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

Michael Wetton, defending, said that Raja was simply naïve in that he was not aware that the DVDs had been put on sale on top shelf of the magazine rack by the previous owner. He told Magistrates: “He entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity and admitted to the offence in an interview when he was first charged in 2013.”

“In 2010 he was offered the opportunity to buy into the shop through an acquaintance. He was to pay £35,000 which he would pay back over the time he was working in it. He was aware that some licensing would be necessary as the shop sold cigarettes and alcohol but did not know there were explicit items sold amongst the magazines.”

Magistrates were told by the probation service that Raja, who is currently delivering menus for a restaurant door-to-door and is in receipt of benefits, is unlikely to reoffend and had taken the decision not to continue running the shop shortly after the visit from Trading Standards. He was also ordered to pay £500 towards court costs and a victim surcharge of £60.

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