A charity fundraiser who was involved in selling on stolen car parts has avoided an immediate jail sentence after getting a character reference from the current Mayor of Calderdale.
The reference from Councillor Ferman Ali was one of a number submitted on behalf of 35-year-old Kamran Bostan who was today (Monday) given a 15-month prison term suspended for two years with an order to do 300 hours of unpaid work.
Bostan, of Ashville Gardens, Pellon, Halifax, was caught out after a man who had his white Audi vehicle stolen in April 2016 spotted parts from the car being advertised for sale on eBay and Gumtree.
Bradford Crown Court heard that the man contacted the police and the next day Bostan was arrested when he turned up at a car park in Halifax to sell on a door from the Audi for £200
Prosecutor Nicholas Askins said when police went to Bostan's home they found another red Audi car, which had been stolen in Huddersfield a few days earlier, parked on the driveway.
Officers also searched a metal container unit at the proprty and discovered parts from stolen vehicles including the white Audi, a Mercedes stolen in Liverpool and a Volkswagen Golf stolen in Wakefield.
Bostan, who had no previous convictions, admitted a charge of conspiracy with others to convert criminal property in relation to the parts from the four stolen vehicles and the Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC admitted finding his case "a difficult sentencing exercise".
"The Crown's case is this is somebody who is prepared, quite professionally, to fence stolen car parts often very quickly following a burglary," noted the judge.
Barrister Abdul Shakoor, for Bostan, said he was seeking to persuade the judge to pass a suspended jail term and highlighted the letters of reference submitted on his client's behalf including the one from Councillor Ali.
Judge Durham Hall said the references emphasised Bostan's "very significant charitable efforts".
"What shines through from these is his commitment to charity. Raising money for very poor and destitute people here and in Pakistan and elsewhere," said the judge.
"All of which makes it all the more surprising he has got himself involved in this offending which has put him staring down the barrel of custody," added Mr Shakoor.
Judge Durham Hall said as part of the sentencing exercise he had to take account of Bostan's very positive good character prior to the offending over a two-month period back in 2016.
"I should lock you up today immediately. No issue. You know that. The public know that." the judge told Bostan.
But after taking account of the sentencing guidelines for such offending the judge concluded that Bostan would serve "very little" time in custody and that would result in him losing his job and there being little chance of compensation for his victims.
As part of his overall sentence Bostan will now be subject to a night-time electronically-monitored curfew between 7pm and 5am for the next six months.
Bostan also faces a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act next year which could see him having to hand over some of his ill-gotten gains.