AN MP’s son who has been charged with selling “legal highs” at a shop in St Helens failed to attend a court hearing because he was on holiday.
Sean Alex Ellman, 40, - son of MP Louise Ellman - was due to appear at Chester Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday) to face charges relating to the supply of the substance known as “Gogaine”.
The case was brought against Ellman by Cheshire West and Chester Council Trading Standards and is believed to be a national first, alleging contravention of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
Ellman, of Parkville Road, Withington, Manchester, is the proprietor of Salsa Enterprises Ltd, which owns ‘head shops’ in Chester, Manchester, Warrington and St Helens.
Both company and individual were summonsed on July 17 following a raid by trading standards officers on Ellman’s Dr Herman’s shop in Eastgate Row, Chester, last August.
Charges relate to both the supply of a chemical substance and omitting to provide the purchaser with information about the potential risks associated with the product.
Mike Gray, defending Ellman, told the court that his client was on holiday abroad with his “respectable family”.
Mr Gray said he was planning to seek an adjournment and was not aware that the barrister representing the council, Alan Conroy, would be making a trip from London to Chester today.
District Judge Nicholas Sanders said the situation was “utterly unacceptable” and warned that a warrant would be issued for the defendant if he failed to turn up at the next court hearing on September 14.
Mr Gray said the defence was seeking a barrister for the case, which he said had some “novel points”, adding: “It’s going to be of major significance in this particular area of the law.”
The raid, which resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of legal highs, was initiated after a 17-year-old student collapsed and was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after allegedly taking Gogaine.