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Shop staff charged with knife marketing offences

Police car
The Knives Act 1997 prohibits bladed items from being marketed in a way which suggests they are suitable for combat

The owner of a Leeds shop and four of his staff have been charged with offences relating to the marketing of knives.

Hassan Abbas, 43, is due to appear at Leeds Magistrates' Court on 21 February.

It follows a police operation at the Fantasia store, in the city centre, which officers said was selling weapons.

Staff members Dean Lodge, Connor Baxter, Daniel Corscadden and Amy Ponting have also been charged and will appear in court on the same date.

West Yorkshire Police said the shop was searched in December 2021 under a warrant granted under the Knives Act 1997.

The act prohibits knives and bladed items from being marketed in a way which suggests they are suitable for combat or which might encourage violent behaviour.

Officers said the operation formed part of efforts to tackle knife crime involving young people in Leeds.

Mr Abbas, of Congreve Way in Bardsey, is charged with five counts of marketing a knife as suitable for combat, eight counts of publishing material indicating a knife was suitable for combat, and two counts of possession of a weapon in private to which Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applied.

Mr Lodge, 55, of Cottingley Drive in Leeds, 28-year-old Mr Baxter, of Leasowe Avenue in Leeds, and 29-year-old Mr Corscadden, of Doncaster Road in Wakefield, have each been charged with five counts of marketing a knife as suitable for combat.

They are also each charged with eight counts of publishing material indicating a knife was suitable for combat, and one count of exposing for sale a weapon to which Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applied.

Mr Lodge is also charged with possession of an electrical incapacitation device.

Ms Ponting, 40, of Bottle Kiln Rise in Wakefield, is charged with five counts of marketing a knife as suitable for combat and one count of exposing for sale a weapon to which Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applied.

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