At Thames Magistrates Court on 7th December, Ms Sofia Kasapantoniou of Tower Hamlets, London pleaded guilty and was convicted on four counts of the criminal offence of misusing the title, and fined £2,304 with a further £2,131 in costs and surcharges.
The court heard that Ms Kasapantoniou had used the title on her LinkedIn profile despite not being registered and continued to misuse the title while ignoring ARB’s numerous warnings. Part of ARB’s evidence against Ms Kasapantoniou included an email holding herself out to a new employer as being a registered architect and fabricating a registration number.At another hearing on 7 December 2017 at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court, Mr Eric Wessels of Planning and Projects Ltd in Waltham Forest, London pleaded guilty to using the title 'architects' on the practice’s website and on his LinkedIn profile despite being repeatedly told to remove the protected title by ARB. Taking into account the guilty plea and the defendant’s means, the Court sentenced him to a twelve month conditional discharge on each charge and made a costs order in the sum of £3,000.
A spokesperson on behalf of ARB’s Professional Standards Department said: "For an individual to continue to use the title when they are not on the Register undermines the regulatory purpose of the Architects Act.
"Both Ms Sofia Kasapantoniou and Mr Eric Wessels chose to ignore the legal restrictions surrounding the use of the title and the courts demonstrated a willingness to protect the public from those illegally calling themselves an architect.
"We will continue to monitor both individuals’ trading style and if necessary recommence legal action."
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