Oxford

Oxford company admits selling dangerous 'legal highs'

The products Image copyright Oxfordshire County Council
Image caption The products were described as research chemicals and herbal incenses

A director whose company sold so-called legal highs has pleaded guilty to selling dangerous products.

Darren Manley sold products with names such as King B, Cherry Bomb, Blow and Charly Sheen from his shop Red Eye on Cowley Road in Oxford.

They were described as research chemicals and herbal incenses.

Oxfordshire County Council's trading standards team said the way the products were sold without health risk warnings was illegal.

The council started investigating the business in 2014 after doctors raised concerns about the products' effects upon people using them as drugs.

Deputy county council leader Rodney Rose said the company failed to act when it was made aware of the risks.

Manley and his firm RAD Trading Limited admitted eight counts of breaching the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 when he appeared at Oxford Crown Court.

Image copyright Oxfordshire County Council
Image caption Doctors have raised concerns about their effects, particularly on vulnerable people

Jody Kerman, operations manager for the trading standards service, said the way the supposedly legal highs were sold meant they were not legal.

He said: "The products were labelled incorrectly and contained dangerous substances with no appropriate warnings or instructions for their safe use.

"Whilst there is new legislation in place now that cover these items, at the time of these offences, dangerous products such as these were being openly sold to consumers in Oxford from a retail shop.

"This helped to add to the public perception that these were safe and legal products."

Other products sold at the shop were called Clockwork Orange, Exodus Herbal Incense, China White and Loop. Red Eye stopped selling them in early 2015.

Manley, 36, of Curlew Place, Portishead, has been released on bail and will be sentenced on 17 January at Oxford Crown Court.

Image copyright Oxfordshire County Council
Image caption Darren Manley and RAD Trading Limited admitted breaching the General Product Safety Regulations 2005

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