Businessmen face trial over drugs charges

A date has been set for the trial of two businessmen accused of selling legal highs which contained illegal drugs.

Simon Tomlin and Paris Newton ran a chain of shops called Hush which sold the drugs in Exeter, Exmouth, Torbay and Taunton.

The two men were arrested after police raided the shops in a co-ordinated operation in March 2011 and seized a large part of their stock.

The two shopkeepers have denied 18 charges of possessing drugs with intent to supply after appearing at Exeter Crown Court.

Simon Tomlin, 29, of St David’s Hill, Exeter, and Paris Newton, 40, of Thurlow Road, Exeter, face allegations which relate to a variety of dance drugs.

They run Hush shops in The Strand, Exmouth, and Fore Street, Exeter, and say the substances they sold were all legal and they had no interest in supplying any controlled drugs.

Their cases were adjourned to a trial date in June and Recorder Mr Andrew Maitland set a timetable for the exchange of prosecution and defence documents. They face 10 joint charges of possessing class B or C drugs with intent to supply and Newton faces a further eight charges on his own.

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All the charges relate to small amounts of alleged illegal substances found in so-called ‘legal highs’.

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