A young dad who was the "middleman" in a ring dealing the 'party drug' mephedrone has paid the price with 12 months in jail.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Matthew MacFarlane, 23, owed between £2,500 and £4,500 because of his own addiction to the drug and claimed his dealer had told him if he sent him some customers he would knock some money off.
MacFarlane, said to be getting his life back on track and not to have offended for five years, admitted being concerned in the supply of mephedrone, between last March and April.
Judge Jonathan Gibson told the defendant, of Elizabeth Street, Accrington, he accepted his attitude was very much more positive than it was in the past.
He added: "I trust you will be able, upon your release, to change direction."
David Macro, prosecuting, said police raided a house on George Street, Accrington, and found mephedrone.
The defendant was there and was arrested. He was asked about his mobile phone, got upset and said a man at the house sold 'bubble' and he was in debt to him.
Mr Macro said MacFarlane told police he had told the man he could not pay him the money, the dealer said he couldn't get away with it, but said he could knock some money off if he got him some customers.
He would text the defendant to say he had some mephedrone and MacFarlane would then contact friends to let them know. He would arrange to meet them and deals would take place, with the man supplying and taking the money. MacFarlane claimed he was scared of the dealer.
Kevin Preston, for the defendant, said he had not committed any offences between 2004 and 2009. He had a five-year-old daughter, after he split from his partner his life descended into utter chaos and he became addicted to bubble. He was in debt to dealers and to family and friends from whom he had borrowed.
The solicitor added: "He tells me when he was addicted to this drug, nothing seemed to matter."
Mr Preston said things were now back on track with the defendant's partner and he had been offered work, but his life was effectively on hold until the court case was resolved.
The solicitor continued: "His father is well known to the courts and was not a great influence on him. When he is with his partner, he can lead a normal life."