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Harrogate second hand dealer ‘mean theft’ from vulnerable person

Ali Reza Bakhtiary was in Harrogate Magistrates on 10 November 2015 charged with the theft of £400 from a vulnerable person in relation to a TV.

There was an additional charge that he had failed to comply with section 7 of the North Yorkshire County Council Act 1991 which relates to dealers in second hand goods.

Mr Bakhtiary, aged 30 and of Franklin Mount in Harrogate changed his previous plea of not guilty to guilty, sparing the need for the complainant to give evidence in court.

Mr Bakhtiary, owns the ‘Items for Sale’ on Cheltenham Parade and is currently serving a 3-year and 3-month prison sentence in relation to the sale of goods on-line.

The court heard that the theft took place between 20 November 2014 and 6 May 2015 . The theft was over a time as they had given the defendant time to make amends, something he failed to do.

The complainant is under the care of a mental health and social workers who had noticed an increased level of anxiety in them.

Both the complainant and the case workers had visited Mr Bakhtiary on a number of occasions to ask when the TV would be delivered. On many occasions they were promised delivery, but it never materialised. On one occasion the complainant was offered a mobile phone and DVDs, valued at around £30, they felt that was an act to pacify.

During interview, following arrest, Mr Bakhtiary said he had attempted 8 times to rectify the problem and because of that intended to deduct the value of his own time from any settlement.

Prosecution said that the complainant had obvious mental health issues and that Mr Bakhtiary had simply taken advantage of that. It was also very evident the level of anxiety that it was causing. The Magistrate described his actions as “a very mean theft”

Mr Bakhtiary pleaded guilty to the offences and was ordered to pay £100 victim surcharge, £400 compensation and given 24 weeks in custody to run concurrent with the existing sentence.

PC Emma Harris of Harrogate Police said:

As the investigating officer I supported the vulnerable claimant throughout this case.

This is a good result for the individual and I am pleased that they now have their money back.

If anyone else finds themselves in this position I would urge them to report to then police and the matter will be treated seriously.

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