A DUPED drug user was hit in the pocket twice – after being arrested for possessing amphetamine which turned out to be nothing more than talcum powder.
Johnathan Robson had bought packets of white powder for £50, believing them to be the Class B drug.
Police found the substance after a swoop on his Boldon Colliery home, but when forensic analysis officers got to the bottom of the case, their tests revealed no trace of drugs at all.
The 37-year-old was given a six-month conditional discharge and left with a £100 court bill, after admitting attempted possession of amphetamine at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
His defence solicitor said Robson, of Arnold Street, had shown his “naivety” and wasted his own cash.
Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “On Saturday, May 3, police executed a drug warrant at Robson’s home address.
“During the search, he is seen to go in the kitchen and put something in his pocket.
“The police searched him and found three packets of white powder.
“He told them they were amphetamine. He was arrested and interviewed at the police station and he said he had hid the packets because they were amphetamine.
“He said it was for his own personal use and he had paid £50 for the two larger packets.
“The powder was sent off for analysis and was found not to be amphetamine. It didn’t contain any drugs.”
Ian Cruickshank, defending, said: “Mr Robson is 37 and has no previous convictions for drug offences.
“This offence showed his naivety. It was an attempt to do the impossible.
“However, under law, you can be charged for attempting to possess something, even if it turns out to be something else.
“He was so naive that he thought he was buying amphetamine, but it was a mixture of talcum powder and other worthless rubbish.
“He is not a drug dealer. He had bought it for his own personal use.”
Linda Murphy, chairwoman of the magistrates, gave Robson a six-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay court costs of £85, plus a victim surcharge of £15.