Engineering firm worker caught driving under influence of horse tranquilliser

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An engineering firm worker with a “very responsible job” was caught driving under the influence of drugs on the day he confessed to his boss about his addiction to horse tranquilliser Ketamine.

James Ellison, 34, was on his way home from work on May 22, last year, after telling his employer about his problem.

He was sent home unwell, but was pulled over by police and ended up in court for driving under the influence of drugs, Sunderland magistrates heard.

He was dealt with for the offence earlier this year, but was back in court in connection with drugs found during searches the same day.

Prosecutor Angela Narey said officers searching Ellison at Washington police station found a bag of white powder, while further drugs were found at his home.

Ellison, of Grousemoor, Blackfell, admitted possession of 97.3g of Ketamine and 1.4g of Mephedrone.

Philippa Wylie, defending, said Ellison started using drugs after the tragic drowning of his brother a few years ago. “He started taking Ketamine on a social basis, then more regularly,” Ms Wylie said.

“He was holding down a very responsible job whilst abusing this drug. It’s a horse tranquilliser, which attacks your internal organs and can cause a great deal of damage.

“Ironically, on the day of his arrest he had spoken to his boss about it for the first time and was offered counselling. Since then he has not abused drugs.

“He is still working for his employer.”

Ellison was fined £270 with £85 costs and £27 surcharge.