A GAINSBOROUGH man who admitted dealing in the party drug ‘M-cat’ has been jailed for 18 months at Lincoln Crown Court.
Mechanical engineer Antony Larocca was locked up despite having no previous convictions and a positive reference from Gainsborough Trinity FC manager Steve Housham.
The court heard that 31-year-old Larocca became addicted to the Class B drug before it was made illegal in April 2010.
Police recovered 28.1 grammes of the white powder after executing a search warrant at Larocca’s home in Lea Road.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that bags containing the white powder were found inside DVD cases and a coat.
The street value of the drugs seized was estimated at £560.
Mr Scott told the court that text messages found on three mobile phones belonging to Larocca indicated he was a ‘mid-level commercial dealer’.
But when questioned by police Larocca insisted he only supplied the drug to a small group of four or five friends.
In mitigation the court was told Larocca only began using ‘legal highs’ after suffering from anxiety and had sought counselling for his addiction.
The court heard Larocca was also a highly thought of mechanical engineer when he was in work.
Larocca, of Lea Road, Gainsborough, admitted possessing a Class B drug with intent to supply following the search on 22 December, 2010.
Judge Michael Heath told Larocca he had read a number of positvie references including one from Steve Housham.
Judge Heath told Larocca: “You were a commercial dealer.”
Larocca was also given 28 days to pay the sum of £2,660 which was his determined benefit from his criminal activity.