More than 5,000 pirated DVDs, including fake copies of crime comedy Identity Thief, were seized from a Bradford video rental shop, a court heard yesterday.
Adrees Malik, 45, who ran Homeview on Thornton Road, also had illegal versions of James Bond film Skyfall, The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey and Life of Pi, causing a total loss to the film industry of £42,297.
Malik, of Bude Court, West Bowling, Bradford, was sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, at Bradford Crown Court for 15 offences involving the sale and possession of copied films, between March and July last year.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told Malik the offences were “an attack on the legitimate trade from which we all benefit”.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service received a complaint about the shop in January 2012 and three months later officers seized a quantity of copied films.
Prosecutor Camille Morland said a follow-up inspection visit in March last year uncovered large numbers of copied DVDs with hand-written film titles on them. Two copying towers were hidden on the premises, one inside a hidden panel in the wall and one in a cupboard.
In total, more than 5,000 DVDs were seized, Miss Morland said.
The following month, an undercover officer bought two pirated films, including Die Hard 5 which had not yet been released in the UK.
On May 1, officers again inspected the premises. Malik was behind the counter and a chest in the back room contained copied DVDs.
Two days later, Malik sold an officer three films for £5, saying: “Be careful, don’t tell anyone.”
The court was told based on the price of three discs for £5, the takings on the 5,834 discs seized would be £9,743, amounting to a profit of £8,576.
Malik’s barrister, Imran Kahn, said his client was of previous good character. Judge Durham Hall approved a timetable for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.