A MAN who ordered illegal drugs from abroad told police he loved ecstasy.
Connor Southward made the remark to Durham Police officers who had been tipped off by customs officials at Heathrow Airport, Durham Crown Court heard.
“The package was intercepted,” said Shaun Dodds, prosecuting. “It was addressed to a false name, but using Southward’s address in Peterlee.
“Southward was frank with police, telling them he had ordered 50 tablets for £150, although the package contained 200 tablets.”
Mr Dodds told the court sentencing guidelines for the case suggested between three-and-a-half and five-and-a-half years in prison.
Southward, 22, of Braithwaite Road, Peterlee, admitted fraudulently evading the prohibition on importing a class A drug.
He has previous convictions for theft, and cautions for possessing ecstasy and cocaine.
Rod Hunt, mitigating, said: “The guidelines in this case are draconian, and surely aimed at a dealer importing large quantities to sell.
“Mr Southward is adamant he ordered only 50 tablets for his own use, not least because he did not have the money to order hundreds.
“This offending was naive in the extreme, using his own address if not his own name.”
Judge Robert Adams sentenced Southward to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of community work.
The judge told him: “I am just able to suspend the sentence due to your young age, immediate admissions, the fact you are lightly convicted, and I note you are taking steps to deal with your addiction.
“The remark about loving Ecstasy was an unfortunate one.
“You should remember taking this drug is illegal, quite apart from buying it.
“You have had a number of scrapes with the court, and you came very close to going to prison today.”
The judge ordered the confiscation and destruction of the Ecstasy tablets.