Bong-seller convicted in landmark prosecution

A shop owner has been convicted of selling items he knew would be used for drug taking in the first prosecution of its kind in the country.


Hassan Abbas, boss of Fantasia on Ludgate Hill in Leeds city centre, was found guilty at Leeds Magistrates’ Court of supplying articles used to administer or prepare controlled drugs.

The court heard goods including bongs, plastic bags and grinders – all decorated with cannabis leaf motifs – were sold from the store.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

While it is not illegal to sell the items in themselves, 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.”

Abbas, 33, of Congreve Way, Bardsey, claimed the symbols on the products were either hemp leaves or Japanese maple leaves.

Allerton, 28, of Holtdale Garth, Cookridge, also denied knowingly supplying goods for drug use.

Both were found guilty.

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.

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