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Machete attack used car retailer hit with FCA ban


A used car dealer who attacked a doorman with a machete during a night out has been banned from providing financial services by the FCA.

A notice issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) this week revealed that Ashkan Zahedian, of Davigdor Road, Hove, had been hit with the ban more than two-and-a-half years after his conviction for the attack outside the Mixologist bar in Hove.

It said: “Mr Zahedian’s lack of integrity and requisite reputation is such that he poses a severe risk to public confidence in the financial system.”

Zahedian, a director of Vast Cars which, Companies House records show, has a correspondence address of Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, near Brighton, was sentenced to three years in jail at Lewes Crown Court in May 2020, three months after the incident outside the Hove night spot.

Covering the resulting court proceedings, the Argus newspaper reported how Iranian refugee Zahedian, aged 29 at the time, had “snapped” when he felt he was struck on the head by doorman Danny Chapman during an altercation on February 18, 2020.

He went to his car parked nearby and returned with a machete before slashing Chapman in the leg.

After admitting wounding and possessing an offensive weapon in public, Zahedian was jailed for three years.

Judge David Rennie cut a third off the sentence after being told about Zahedian’s “good character” and receiving references including from Hove MP Peter Kyle, The Argus reported.

Judge Rennie accepted that Mr Zahedian’s actions were out of character and thought they would never happen again.

However, in his sentencing remarks Judge Rennie said: “It was free choice to get that weapon from your car, you escalated things, you lost control, and you caused a nasty wound.

“Whatever your earlier intention, at the time you intended that wound, you intended to cause him really serious harm.”

In light of his conviction the FCA said this week that it had decided to remove Zahedian’s approval to perform the senior management function at Vast Cars Limited and impose a prohibition order, preventing him from working in financial services in the future.

Commenting on the case, Mark Steward, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight said: “Those authorised to provide financial services are required to meet and maintain high standards of character, fitness and properness.

“These were serious, violent criminal offences reflecting on Mr Zahedian’s character and justifying the finding that he is not a person to be working in financial services.  The FCA will continue to uphold high standards of character and conduct for those working in financial services.”

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