Online troll victim who lost business over false paedophile claims plans new business '“Â selling industrial hemp
DETERMINED Paul Cheape has launched a bid to sell medical cannabis in future as he vowed to 'bounce back' from a damaging hate campaign that ruined his business.
The 32-year-old suffered a Â£75,000 loss at his vape shop Steamachine, in Southsea, after internet troll Oliver Redmond falsely branded him a paedophile to friends and suppliers.
Magistrates were yesterday forced to adjourn sentencing dad-of-three Redmond, 37, of Stirling Street, Buckland, as Portsmouth Magistrates' Court could not handle his wheelchair if he was sent to prison.
Speaking outside court, Scotsman Mr Cheape told how he is determined to stay afloat and has launched THC Free Weed '“ selling industrial hemp products.
He hopes to establish himself in the market to take advantage of the position if government decides third parties can sell medical cannabis in future.Â
Speaking to The News, Mr Cheape said: 'We're going to bounce back '“Â there's no option not to. I think what we're doing is really positive.'
After putting up signs outside his Elm Grove shop he got a visit from the police '“Â who Mr Cheape showed his import records to prove the products were legal.
'The police came in, we showed them what we had '“Â it was a lot of industrial hemp,' he said.
'He couldn't believe what he was looking at '“Â it smells the same and looks the same (as cannabis).'
Mr Cheape is tied into the shop he rents for the now defunct Steamachine, a brand he axed when Redmond falsely linked it to paedophilia.
He has re-branded and opened the new business, which could only sell medical cannabis in future if allowed to by government.
Magistrates previously heard how Mr Cheape suffered physical illnesses including alopecia, due to the stress of Redmond's hate campaign.
As reported, in one Facebook message Redmond had said: ' Steamachine is fine so long are you're not a 13-year-old girl.
'˜I'm not saying the owner's a self-confessed predator of underage Eastern European children... but I wouldn't ask him to babysit.'
Redmond admitted harassment between June last year and January, and was convicted of a malicious communication over a racist phone call when he called Mr Cheape a '˜jock'.
'˜Then I tried to respond and I was then insulted further by being called a dirty paedophile jock,' Mr Cheape previously said in court.
Redmond will be sentenced on September 18.