A TEENAGER has narrowly avoided jail after he was caught using fake money and socially supplying drugs to his friends to pay off his £2,000 drug debts.
Billy Newby, of Howitt Crescent, Uttoxeter, was caught using the counterfeit money after he used a replica £20 note to buy sweets from an ice-cream van outside St Mary’s School on May 19.
Moira Bell, prosecuting at Burton Magistrates’ Court, said: “The defendant was reported to the police for using the counterfeit currency. Officers attended his home and found a further five fake £20 notes as well as a stash of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
“Police found 12 bags of mephedrone (also known as Mcat) worth up to £200, some cannabis along with three grinders, scales, plastic bags and three mobile phones.
“He said during interview that he bought the fake notes from an unknown man who knocked on his door asking if he wanted to buy a bike. He also admitted selling cannabis and Mcat to his friends.” Neil O’Driscoll, defending, said his client was now drug-free after battling a two-year addiction to Mcat and cannabis.
He told the hearing: “Newby is an 18-year-old man who is quite intelligent. After leaving school at 16 he got involved with drugs and ended up highly addicted to them. He was smoking £20 worth of cannabis a day which is a substantial amount.
“He racked up £2,000 worth of debts to feed his addiction and has had to rely on his mum to pay a lot of it off. He was selling the drugs to his friends to pay his debts off — it is a vicious circle.
“He has made positive changes and has come off the drugs completely. I know his offences pass the custody threshold, but I ask you give him a chance on the grounds of his early admissions, he’s now drug-free, he has no previous convictions and he is only 18.” Newby pleaded guilty to two charges of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs as well to controlling counterfeit currency.
For all of the offences he was made subject to a 12- month community order and made to complete 250 hours of unpaid work. He was also made to pay £85 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.