A student who brought more than 200 canisters of nitrous oxide to a pop festival in Brighton has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Sussex Police said: “A geography student from Wood Green, London, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, after admitting that he had attended the Boundary Festival in Stanmer Park, Brighton, in September 2016 with intent to supply a psychoactive substance – nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, Nos or hippy crack.
“Nicholas Chroussis, 22, was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid community service and to pay a victim surcharge at a sentencing hearing at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (22 August).
“Chroussis was stopped by security staff as he tried to enter the festival and was found to be in possession of 245 nitrous oxide canisters, a dispenser and 250 balloons.
“He had originally pleaded not guilty to having the gas with intent to supply, claiming it was for personal use, but changed this to guilty after extensive evidence of dealing was found on his mobile phone, including attendance at other festivals.
“The canisters were intended for legitimate use in the catering industry for the production of whipped cream.
“Nitrous oxide is also cleared for use in medical and dental applications, for example, as an anaesthetic.
“Possession with intent to supply a psychoactive substance became an offence under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 and came into force in May last year.”
Detective Constable Julian Harrison-Jones, of Brighton investigations, said: “This is believed to have been one of the first prosecutions of its kind in the country.
“The maximum sentence for the offence is seven years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.”
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