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Pair who made £400k from legal highs banned from selling them


Proceedings: John Larkin

Proceedings: John Larkin

Proceedings: John Larkin

Two businessmen convicted over the distribution of £400,000 worth of so-called legal highs have been permanently banned from selling the products anywhere in Northern Ireland, a High Court judge has ordered.

Mr Justice Deeny granted a full injunction against Ian Brown and Ashley Campbell, as well as a woman who worked at a shop linked to them in central Belfast.

The permanent ban represents the culmination of landmark proceedings issued by Belfast City Council and Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin QC.

Last month Brown (53), Campbell (23), and Susan Bradshaw (46) were all sentenced to community service after they admitted failing to comply with safety regulations in distributing a dangerous product, namely Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) - better known as 'legal highs'.

Charges were brought against them for supply carried out over an eight-month period at the Soho Bookshop on Belfast's Gresham Street.

NPS were said to have been distributed at the premises between October 2013 and July 2014 in a commercial operation raking in £50,000 a month.

Barrister for Brown - whose address was given as Soho Bookshop - Stephen Quinn QC said: "My client wants it known he was never directly involved in this business in any shape or form, and he doesn't want to be involved directly or indirectly in the future."

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Campbell, also with the Soho Bookshop address, was not legally represented yesterday. He allegedly allowed his name to feature on the details of a linked company, Infernal Publishings.

However, Bradshaw, of Broom Street in Belfast, was said to have played a relatively minor role, working in the shop without any influence or control.

Mr Justice Deeny's injunction extends to Infernal Publishing and also covers any owner or occupier of the Gresham Street premises.

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