Ecstasy users avoid jail

TWO Felixstowe men who took ecstasy tablets have narrowly avoided jail.Brian Johnson, 43, and Stephen Saunders, 35, both of Langer Road, pleaded guilty to possessing the class A drugs.

TWO Felixstowe men who took ecstasy tablets have narrowly avoided jail.

Brian Johnson, 43, and Stephen Saunders, 35, both of Langer Road, pleaded guilty to possessing the class A drugs.

Saunders also admitted supplying them to Johnson who admitted intending to supply them to friends.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Saunders bought 125 ecstasy tablets for £200. He told police he had kept 25 for his own use and sold 100 to Johnson, who paid him £150.

Johnson told the police he was a heavy ecstasy user and had intended to keep 70 tablets for himself and sell 30 to his friends at £1.50 each.

Gill Gibbs, prosecuting, said the defendants were walking in Undercliff Road West when tipped off police officers stopped and searched Johnson, who had the drugs with him.

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David Pickersgill, mitigating for Saunders, said: "He was only picked up because of his close association with Brian Johnson. He told the police he had 25 tablets in his bedroom drawer. He gave very full answers to the police and furnished them with significant information."

Mr Pickersgill said his client no longer took ecstasy and "now his recreational enjoyment is a couple of beers and no more".

Christie Hays, for Johnson, said her client had not intended to make any profit by selling the drugs to his friends.

She said: "He became involved in ecstasy and took about eight tablets in the course of an evening to keep up with the people he was going out with who were much younger than him."

The court heard that the lorry driver was once found in possession of heroin and was currently receiving a methadone prescription.

Judge David Goodin said: "Possessing or dealing with these class A drugs is as serious as any other class A drugs. This is not to be viewed like cannabis. You were involved in the distribution of a drug that can lead to dependence and degradation which can lead to death."

He ordered Johnson to do 240 hours unpaid work and Saunders to do 160 hours community punishment.

Judge Goodin said: "You will face imprisonment if there is wilful refusal to comply with this order."

They were also told to pay £200 each towards court costs.

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