Man faces prison over homemade laser pens

SHOCKED: Nick McNamara, from Lancashire Trading Standards
SHOCKED: Nick McNamara, from Lancashire Trading Standards
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A man who flooded the streets with military grade lasers through his eBay business could face a prison sentence.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard how Techyun Hii, 33, launched a business with wife Dan Dan Huang from their semi-detached home in Whitmore Place, Ribbleton, importing laser pen parts, assembling them and selling them through the internet.

Dangerous: the lasers found at a property in Preston

Dangerous: the lasers found at a property in Preston

Most far exceeded the 1mW legal output in Britain - with some so strong they were capable of blinding people.

Advertisements showed a laser being shined at a riot police officer and told how products could ignite cigarettes and burn holes in plastic bags.

They were on sale online for as much as £248, and an investigation found in a period of two months in 2011, hundreds had been supplied to the public in the UK and abroad.

Lancashire Trading Standards investigators visited Hii in 2011 after a tip-off and found documents, lasers, imported parts, and several packages - three earmarked for Greece.

It was shortly before the Greek riots, the court heard.

Officers had previously visited his business, Sky Laser Pointers, twice - including one occasion when a consignment of equipment was seized at Stansted airport.

They advised Hii of his legal obligations and the legal output level of lasers allowed in Britain.

But the court heard he had carried on trading and was caught out with a test purchase last April.

Nick McNamara, prosecuting, said: “Despite the seizure at Stansted airport and previous contact with Trading Standards, here was a business evidently prepared to sell members of public a laser pen 150 times more powerful than the legal limit.

“The dangers are very real, particularly when irresponsible traders are prepared to sell devices to anyone who will pay. The consequences of these goods in the hands of children, yobs and criminals is only too obvious.”

Hii pleaded guilty to five counts relating to supplying lasers and other goods that flouted safety regulations.

Defending, Peter Grogan said: “This began its life as a well intended business operation but clearly fell foul of the law at some point.”

Hii moved from Malaysia 10 years ago to study at UCLan, where he met his wife.

Huang was cautioned over the offences. Hii will be sentenced on July 4 and could face up to three months in prison.