Election candidate ‘offence’ apology

Shehzad Hussain, left, with Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell and former candidate Beth Prescott
Shehzad Hussain, left, with Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell and former candidate Beth Prescott

A would-be councillor has described how a business venture went “horribly wrong” after it was revealed he was convicted of selling fake clothing.

Shehzad Hussain, a Conservative candidate for Dewsbury West in May’s local elections, sold fake designer clothes on internet auction site eBay.

The 42-year-old was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence in 2008. Mr Hussain said he was unemployed at the time with a young family.

He added: “It was a business venture that went horribly wrong and it left me in a financial mess. I gave refunds and closed the business and helped police with enquiries.”

Mr Hussain admitted 24 offences of selling counterfeit clothing. He received a one year prison term suspended for 18 months and was told to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

The father of four also apologised for any offence caused by his eBay username ‘Twin Towers 11’, which he said was not intended to be offensive.

“The name wasn’t what it seemed and was a combination of fund raising I was doing for the Twin Towers Foundation and also I wa born on September the 11,” he said.

Alan Burton, chairman of the Dewsbury Conservative Association, said he had accepted Mr Hussain’s explanation and was supporting him ahead of Kirklees Council elections in May.

Mr Hussain was selected by the association after previous candidate Beth Prescott stood down to take a job in London.

Mr Burton said Mr Hussain had been upfront and honest about his conviction. “He admitted he had done something wrong and he has paid the price,” he said. “He has done some very good works in reparation.”

Mr Hussain works with young people and in 2009 won an award from the Prince’s Trust.

He added: “My life experiences are something I share with young people and try to get them into training, education, employment and away from the gangs, drugs, anti-social behaviour, and crime related activity.”