Sheffield Spice dealer given suspended sentence after claiming he thought the drug was still a 'legal high'

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A Sheffield 'spice' dealer has been given a suspended prison sentence, after he argued he did not know it was illegal to sell the Class B drug.

Sheffield Crown Court was told how, after receiving a tip-off, police raided the home of John Windross in Eldon Court in Sheffield City Centre on September 26 last year.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, told the court how during the course of the search officers found 8.22 grams of illegal psychoactive substances, including the drug 'spice' with a street value of approximately £80.

He said: "Also recovered was a notepad with a list of names and numbers, indicative of drug taking.

"A mobile telephone was also found with text messages sent between August 4, 2016 and September 26, 2016 that were consistent with drug dealing.

Mr Coxon added: "He accepted that he had Spice, but said he thought it was a legal high. He said he had about £10-£25.

"He was bailed and re-interviewed on March 1, 2017 and when he was asked about the phone said he was not the only one who used it."

Windross, aged 51, later pleaded guilty to one charge of possession with intent to supply, relating to Spice.

Defending, Richard Adams told the court that Windross' offending took place during a 'transitional period' for the classification of the drug.

He said: "A transitional period when it was legal to possess it and legal to sell it to when selling it under the psychoactive substances act is illegal and possession is still legal."

Mr Adams told the court that Windross had not offended for 19 years, and that this offence had been sparked by the breakdown of a 17-year relationship.

He said the end of his relationship had led to him becoming involved with Spice and selling the substance to feed his addiction to it, as well as his addiction to cannabis.

Judge Sarah Wright sentenced Windross to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to complete a nine-month drug rehabilitation programme as well as a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

She said: "Given what's in your [pre-sentence] report, given the fact that you've been out of trouble for nearly 20 years I can suspend the sentence."

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