Anthony Bilson, formerly of Chesterfield, was told by Judge Nirmal Shant QC: “I am the judge, not ‘duck’”, when he appeared over the video link from Nottingham prison for his sentencing at Derby Crown Court.
Bilson, now of Crompton Street, Derby, is the latest drug dealer to be snared as part of a Operation Halifax which was set up last year to tackle the supply of the so-called zombie drug in Derby.
As the hearing began, Judge Shant said to the defendant: “Can you hear us okay, Mr Bilson?”
He replied: “Yes I can, duck.”
Stunned Judge Shant said: “I am the judge, not ‘duck’.”
Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said police set up Operation Halifax in November last year.
She said: “It was set up after numerous reports of anti-social behaviour linked to the use of the drug, colloquially known as Mamba or Spice, in Derby city centre.
“Undercover officers were deployed to streets where the selling of the drug was reported as rife and they identified a number of street dealers and organised crime groups higher up the chain.
“One undercover officer met the defendant first on February 22 where he sold her a £10 bag of the drug.”
Miss Slater said Bilson, 28, met the same officer on four more occasions until March 15, close to the Padley Centre, in Becket Street, where he either sold or offered to sell her Mamba.
She said he was arrested as part of the operation on June 14 and during his interview a secret recording of him selling the drug to the officer was played to him.
Miss Slater added that Bilson admitted it was his voice on the tape but denied he had sold the drugs.
However, he later pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying Mamba and two of offering to supply the class B drug and he has been jailed for 15 months.
Judge Shant QC said: “It is right to say that the use of Mamba has become prolific in the Derby area and it is right to say it is a significant problem.”
She added: “You have a bad record but not for drugs and I am told you are a daily user of the drug yourself.”
Jon Hullis, mitigating for Bilson, said his client had moved to Derby from Chesterfield to get away from trouble.
He said: “Most of his previous offences have taken place in Chesterfield and when he moved to Derby he found himself homeless and that is the root of the problem.
“He was living on the streets and getting support at the Padley Centre.
“He started using Mamba on a daily basis and saw the opportunity to supply underweight bags of the drug to fund his own use.”
Bilson is expected to be handed a Criminal Behaviour Order at a future hearing to ban him from certain streets in Derby city centre.
Mamba is regarded by police and the courts as a psychoactive substance and it has been dubbed the zombie drug after many of those who are using the substance have been found collapsed in the street.