A Leeds man has been convicted and sentenced to prison after selling…legal items.

Shop owner Hassan Abbas, boss of Fantasia on Ludgate Hill in Leeds city centre was found guilty at Leeds magistrates court after selling bongs, plastic bags and grinders, despite the fact that the court openly admitted these items were perfectly legal.

However he was convicted after prosecutor Robert Campbell argued that Abbas and fellow defendant, shop assistant Owen Allerton, would have known that they would be used by cannabis smokers.

Mr Campbell said: “Each of them knew very well that the primary purpose was the taking of cannabis.”

The case represents a landmark ruling in which despite selling items which are allowed by law, a person can still be convicted if they are presumed to be supplying items which could potentially be used in criminal activity, regardless of whether they are actively involved or not.

It is akin to a retailer being convicted for selling knives or matches, which may or may not be used as part of a crime.

Abbas was fined £800 and ordered to pay £520 costs and a victim surcharge of £80. Allerton was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 in costs with a £15 victim surcharge.

Quite who the ‘victim’ was is unknown.

The case came a day before shops in Leeds and Bradford were raided in a West Yorkshire Police crackdown on legal highs.

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