Man caught selling laughing gas in Bristol banned from city centre

Ansil Mahmood was caught selling the psychoactive substance in November last year. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

A man who was caught selling nitrous oxide has been given a suspended jail term and banned from Bristol city centre.

Ansil Mahmood, 46, of Belle Vue Road, Bristol, was caught selling the psychoactive substance, known as laughing gas, last year.

Undercover officers walking among pub-goers on King Street on 18 November 2022 observed Mahmood offering to sell ‘balloons’, which are small metal canisters filled with nitrous oxide.

He was arrested and charged with possession and supply of psychoactive substances.

Mahmood appeared at Bristol Crown Court on 17 February and was given 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He was also handed a Criminal Behaviour Order which bans him from entering the city centre between 8pm and 7am.

Sergeant Rich Jones of Avon and Somerset Police said: “Local businesses repeatedly told us people were illegally selling nitrous oxide outside their venues in Bristol city centre, pestering clientele and being abusive to their staff.

“We won’t tolerate the sale of psychoactive substances or any anti-social behaviour linked to it.

“While not an offence to possess, taking psychoactive substances can also lead to people putting themselves at risk of accident or injury, making them more vulnerable to crime and in some cases, heightening levels of aggression which can lead to increased incidents of violence and disorder.

“Ansil Mahmood is not just a nuisance, his actions present a real risk to the public.

“He is now subject to a criminal behaviour order which will hopefully prevent him from repeating these offences, but should he be found in the city centre at night or with any drug paraphernalia then he will be arrested again.”

In a statement, the force added: “If you suspect someone is dealing drugs in your area, please call us on 101 or report it online.

“For confidential advice and support on drugs go to FRANK.”