A PLASTERER turned to drug dealing to fund the addiction he developed after losing his job, a court heard.
Thousands of pounds worth of class B drug mephedrone – known as mcat or meow – was seized during a raid on Joshua Stevens’ Barnsley home.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how the 22-year-old pointed police to his supply as soon as they began their raid, telling officers ‘go in that drawer – there is some mcat’.
Around 400 grams of the drug, which was a legal high before being designated a Class B substance after legislation was rushed through Parliament in 2010.
Stevens’ mobile phone, containing text messages from others referring to mcat, incriminated him further.
Michael Tooley, prosecuting, said: “Searching officers found several packages. They were sent to forensic scientists and the value was found to be around £6,000. The defendant played a leading role in supply of drugs, motivated by financial gain.”
Stevens had asked to be taken into custody for 16 days prior to the hearing after his tenancy ran out. The court heard his parents were reluctant to allow him back to the family home with proceedings hanging over his head.
Ian Hope, defending, said: “He is not simply a drug dealer but a user as well. He had been a taking mcat for some time, approximately six months.
“At the beginning of this year he lost his job as a plasterer as he was not as punctual as he should have been due to his increasing drug use.
“He fell into debt with his dealer and the dealer suggested the best way to pay it back was to start selling drugs.”
Stevens, of Thicket Drive, Maltby, Rotherham pleaded guilty to three counts of intent to supply a class B drug. He was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence, 12 months supervision.
Judge Graham Hoyland QC said: “Normally those who sell drugs receive immediate custody. I have come to the conclusion that a more structured sentence should be imposed on you.”