An illegal haul of thousands of military grade lasers so powerful they could damage people’s eyesight has been destroyed in a furnace.
Trading Standards staff had to witness the destruction of the laser pens to make sure they did not get back out onto Lancashire’s streets.
Most far exceeded the 1mW legal output in Britain – with some so strong they were capable of blinding people and burning holes in plastic bags.
They had been kept in storage as staff tried to find a suitable location to destroy them following a court case.
Techyun Hii, 33, of Whitmore Drive, Ribbleton, Preston, admitted five breaches of trading regulations at Preston Magistrates Court in June after a £7,000 Trading Standards probe.
He was selling the laser pens online from his Preston home when he was caught out.
A raid was carried out in 2011 which 7,378 fully assembled lasers, 8,780 laser parts and almost 3,000 chargers, adapters and power cords were seized.
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.
There were packages ready for dispatch to various places around the UK and abroad.
Advertisements showed a riot police officer having a laser shone at him.
Lee Ormandy of Lancashire Trading Standards, said: “The haul of lasers was so heavy that a staff member struggled to move the container. It weighed three quarters of a tonne.
“They were destroyed in a furnace at a North West hospital.”
At the time of Hii’s court case Nick McNamara, prosecuting, revealed between July 2010 and July 2011 he made laser sales of 5,132 units on Amazon.
And 246 lasers seized from his home were submitted to the Health Protection Agency for tests, of which 199 were declared unsafe.
Hii was sentenced to a 180 day jail term, suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work.