AN OVERWEIGHT drug dealer claimed he stashed the former legal high Spice for his own use to help him lose 17 stone.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard police raided the home of Colin Gibbs and found 101g of the class B drug in the 52-year-old’s safe with another 10.2g in deal bags in a tub - and £725 in cash and empty ziplock bags in the house.
‘Chronically unhealthy’ Gibbs had been using the drug as an appetite suppressant for two and a half years by the time he was caught on September 12 in 2017, the court heard.
But a jury convicted the former legal high shop worker of two charges of possession with intent to supply. They cleared him of a third charge relating to 0.37g of Spice.
Gibbs, of Northam Street, Landport, had formerly helped out the owner of Gypsy King in Marketway, Portsmouth, when the shop sold the drug prior to it becoming illegal in January 2016.
Synthetic cannabis Spice is rife in jails and is known as the ‘zombie drug’ for its effect on users.
Sentencing, judge David Melville QC imposed a one-year term suspended for two years with four-month tagged curfew running 9pm-6am.
Gibbs, who has previous convictions, must pay £500 prosecution costs and forfeit £400 of the seized cash. The drugs and paraphernalia, including scales found in a sofa cushion, must be destroyed.
Dealer Gibbs, who is signed off work, claims employment support allowance and personal independence payment. The court heard he had been helping out the owner of Gypsy King. He also trades low-priced vehicles.
A probation officer told the court: ‘At the time of the offences Mr Gibbs had been using Spice for two and a half years. He tells me he had a heart attack in 2010 and separately needed to lose weight, having surgery with that weight loss.
‘He heard Spice would help with weight loss and has – since 2016 he tells me – lost 17 stone.
‘In order to do this he was smoking 20 to 30 cigarettes of Spice a day. Since his arrest Mr Gibbs has told me he has stopped using Spice.’
The probation officer added Gibbs feels ‘foolish and stupid for taking the drugs’.
Richard Onslow, mitigating, said: ‘He’s a chronically unhealthy and overweight man.’
He added: ‘This is a small scale operation by the defendant to fund his own habit.’
The court heard Gibbs claimed the drug was in separate bags to help him know how much to take each day.