St Albans care worker avoids jail over drug sentence

Scales of Justice

Scales of Justice - Credit: Archant

A St Albans care worker for vulnerable adults who purchased illegal magic mushrooms online and posted them to his mum’s home dodged a prison sentence on Friday.

David Crisp, 33, pleaded guilty to importing the Class A drug with intent to evade prohibition at Cambridge Crown Court and was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours unpaid work and £400 costs.

The Waverley Road resident sent the mushrooms, which had a dry weight of 199g and weighed in at 541g including packaging, to his mother’s address in Letchworth under the fake name ‘T Cross’.

Prosecutor James McLernon said UK Border staff at Heathrow Airport intercepted a package from Holland on January 21 this year containing the illegal substance.

Police executed a search warrant six days later and Crisp’s mother told them her son would occasionally have packages delivered to her and said she did not know anyone by the name of T Cross.

Crisp voluntarily went to Hatfield police station on January 30 and told officers he paid 220 euros on a website for the substance which was for personal use and would give him 25 servings. He told police: “It was a stupid mistake.”

Sentencing, Judge Mark Lucraft, told the support worker for vulnerable adults with learning difficulties and autism that he accepted he was remorseful and had lost his good character.

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Mitigating, Alessandro Di Francesco said Crisp used the magic mushrooms for his depression and anxiety and that his prescribed medication had associated side effects.

He added: “It’s been a salutary lesson for a 33-year-old man of good character.”

Magic mushrooms were made illegal in Holland in 2008 but there was a loophole where truffles were being made by particular companies.

The prosecution said police carried out an investigation of the Dutch website which did in fact urge buyers to check the legality of importing it into the UK.