A teenager was rushed to Derriford Hospital after taking drugs he thought was MDMA.
A court heard that the teen was unwell and “tripping” for three days before ending up in a life-threatening condition after he and friends snorted and swallowed the drug.
The drug was supplied to the boy and his friends by 21-year-old Joseph Pearce from Courtney Road in Liskeard, Cornwall.
Pearce appeared at Truro Crown Court on October 19 to be sentenced after admitting charges of possessing and supplying a Class B drug.
Prosecuting barrister Ramsay Quaife told the court how, at about 11pm on May 19, the teenager made his way to find the defendant, asking him for some MDMA.
Mr Quaife said: “The defendant produced a large rock in a clear plastic bag and broke off part of it around the size of a 50p piece, about two centimetres thick.
“He (the 15-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons) went into the woods at Liskeard with his friends and they snorted some of the drug and then broke off bits, put it into a rizla and swallowed it, washing it down with Lucozade.
“The following morning he began feeling unwell and spent Sunday and Monday tripping. On Monday he was still hallucinating and was taken to hospital. When he arrived his condition was described as life-threatening.”
Mr Quaife went on to describe how police went to Pearce’s home address and searched his home and car.
They found 40.59 grams of a substituted cathinone – a Class B combination of amphetamine, ecstasy and cocaine – worth about £1,600.
The friends of the hospitalised teenager also became unwell and missed school on the Monday.
Defending Pearce, who works in the building trade, Nicola Colwill said he has seen the error in his ways.
“Joseph Pearce has learned some hard lessons,” she said. “He lives with his parents, is a hard-working young man who perhaps had more money than sense by choosing to spend his money on recreational drugs. He very much regrets giving the boys the drug.”
Sentencing Pearce, Judge Robert Linford said: “This is the one and only chance you’re ever going to get.
“You had a lump of MDMA and he (the boy) knew where to go to get some. It wasn’t MDMA it turns out and the effect of the drug was to poison them.
“Had he died as a result you’d be facing seven to 10 years in prison for manslaughter.
“Possessing drugs is dangerous, taking them is dangerous and supplying them is equally dangerous. This is the first time you’ve been in court and it better be your last.”
Judge Linford sentenced Pearce to eight months in prison, suspended for two years and told to complete 180 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £250 in compensation to the victim and court costs.