[h1]Shop sold drug taking equipment[/h1]
Mar 13 2008 by Julia Bosnyak, Glamorgan Gazette
A FATHER-OF-TWO sold drug smoking equipment and cocaine cutting kits at his town centre shop.
Robin Michael Murray Hill, aged 53, of Heol Dwyrain, Brackla admitted supplying items which may be used in the administration of controlled drugs and believing the item is to be so used, between June 21 and October 26, 2007.
Police officers brought five large brown bags before magistrates – full of items seized in a raid at Murray Hill’s shop, the Trading Post, on Nolton Street, Bridgend on October 26. Officers valued the haul at £5,000.
Pink and yellow fluorescent bongs, bearing cannabis leaf motifs were among the items displayed as an example of the seized goods in court.
Magistrates heard it is legal to sell the items, but illegal to sell them to anybody you believe will use them in relation to drugs.
In police interview, Murray Hill said he had customers in his shop who he believed were drug users and he recalled them buying the bongs.
Items seized by police included 58 bongs, 123 pipes, 26 leaf grinders and 57 packets of small plastic bags. There were also kits that include cutting devices, tubes and small razors.
“They’re cocaine cutting kits,” said Deena Loynton, prosecuting.
Notices displayed in the Trading Post stated that it is an offence to sell items if they are going to be used in connection with drugs.
“It’s forewarning customers of the offence and the approach they should take,” said Mrs Loynton.
When asked by police what the customers would be buying the items for, Murray Hill suggested that the scales could be for cooking, the “bongs” for herbs and the grinders for mint or basil.
In reference to the display of seized goods, John McCarthy, defending, said: “It obviously looks like a circus in this court. All of these items in themselves are not unlawful – he is perfectly entitled to sell these items whether you like it or not.”
Mr McCarthy said that the Trading Post had closed last week.
Murray Hill was sentenced to 120 days in prison, suspended for two years as well as a two-year community order with a supervision requirement.
He was fined £4,500 and ordered to pay £100 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
South Wales Police Supt Tim Jones said: “This is a first class investigation and we are very pleased with the sentences passed and hope this sends out a clear message.
“This is an example of someone who has made money through illegal activity and at times at the expense of people who have been vulnerable in the community.
“Mr Murray Hill ran this shop in the heart of the community and has shown complete lack of community of social responsibility.”
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