A day tripper’s travels to the Yorkshire Dales to pick magic mushrooms almost landed him in jail.
Tom Yorke would regularly go on countryside excursions to collect the illegal fungus before selling it to friends or trading it for cannabis.
A court heard Yorke had no idea magic mushrooms – which has a scientific name of psilocybe semilanceata – were a class A drug and he could face jail for dealing it.
Leeds Crown Court heard police executed a search warrant at Yorke’s home on Hustlers Row, Meanwood, on March 8, and found small quantities of cannabis, ketamine and ecstasy tablets. Yorke told officers he had been selling magic mushrooms which he kept in Tupperware boxes in his loft. Officers found £650 of the fungus and a total of £200 from the sales.
Michael Smith, prosecuting, said: “These are class A offences, albeit not the usual type of drug this court comes into contact with, but these are indeed class A.”
Yorke admitting possession of a class A drug with intent to supply and possession of a class A, B, and C drug. He told officers in interview that he would pick them in the Yorkshire Dales then exchange them to help pay for his £80-per-week cannabis habit.
Yorke was described as intelligent. He left school with nine GCSEs, works at the Musiquarium live music venue in Leeds and hoped to become a musician.
Narinder Rathour, mitigating, said his client believed magic mushrooms were class C drugs. He said: “The majority of magic mushroom would be for his own personal use. He concedes that he may have sold a small amount or used them to barter with in exchange for cannabis.”
Judge Guy Kearl, QC, gave Yorke a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to do 100 hours’ unpaid work.