Teen was sold le­gal highs

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AMAN who sold le­gal highs to a teenage girl has avoided jail.

Niall Robert But­son, 23, from Mac­cles­field, supplied the 15-year-old with what she be­lieved to be LSD – a pow­er­ful hal­lu­cino­genic drug.

But the or­ange tablets dec­o­rated with the im­age of a banana were in fact le­gal highs he had bought on the in­ter­net.

Pros­e­cu­tors told the court that af­ter tak­ing the drug, the girl, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, had col­lapsed un­con­scious and spent two days in hos­pi­tal ‘in a life-threat­en­ing con­di­tion’ but they added that there was no proof of any link be­tween the drug and the girl’s med­i­cal re­ac­tion.

But­son, of Black Road, ad­mit­ted of­fer­ing to sup­ply a class A drug at Ch­ester Crown Court.

Sen­tenc­ing But­son to 16 months in prison, sus­pended for two years, Judge Wood­ward warned him that had the Crown proved the link he would have gone to jail for a ‘lengthy pe­riod’.

He said: “The facts are very un­usual in­deed. This is not an or­di­nary case of a class A drug sup­plier.

“She ap­proached and pestered you and eventu- ally you agreed to sup­ply her LSD. But you didn’t sup­ply her LSD and knew it.

“The af­ter­math as to what hap­pened to the girl can’t be di­rected against you. But I make it very clear if it had been I would have taken it ex­tremely se­ri­ously and would have sent you to prison for a lengthy pe­riod of time.”

The court heard that But­son sold the girl four tablets for £25 in Oc­to­ber 2014.

Mark Con­nor, de­fend­ing, said: “His crime is say­ing it was LSD when it wasn’t. This is an a-typ­i­cal case.

“It was the girl who set up this deal and the de­fen­dant pass­ing drug to the girl.

“The girl didn’t want to pros­e­cute. She took the drug of her own free will no one forced her.

“She didn’t want re­venge but she did want him to face some con­se­quence for what hap­pened.

“It was pos­si­ble that what­ever she took could have caused her symp­toms. That has played out in his mind and changed his own at­ti­tude to drugs and le­gal highs.

“He deeply re­grets his pre­vi­ous life. There has been a pos­i­tive change in his at­ti­tude. He has given up that lifestyle.”

But­son was also given 200 hours un­paid work.

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●● Young skaters at MAC and sup­port­ers are rais­ing funds for East Cheshire Hos­pice

●● Niall But­son sold le­gal highs as LSD

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