Young man caught with £1,000 worth of drugs at a festival near Haborough - just months after graduating with a first class honours degree

He was spared from prison after a judge heard about the steps he had taken to rehabilitate himself

By Sam Wildman
Friday, 30th April 2021, 10:22 am
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 10:24 am

A young man was caught with drugs worth up to £1,000 at a festival near Market Haborough just months after graduating with a first class honours degree.

Dealer Jack Gainsborough spiralled out of control after he started taking drugs in the second year of his studies, at one point taking up to 1g of ketamine every day.

The 23-year-old admitted taking pills and ketamine to sell at Shambala Festival in Kelmarsh in 2019 after security guards found them when they searched his bumbag.

Camping at Shambala Festival (library image).

He faced up to four-and-a-half years in prison for possessing class A and B drugs with intent to supply - but was spared from custody yesterday (Thursday) after a judge heard about the steps he had taken to rehabilitate himself.

Northampton Crown Court heard Gainsborough, of Netheravon Road South in Chiswick, London, was spotted without a wristband at the festival at about 9am on August 24 having walked in over a ditch without paying.

Prosecuting, Ben Gow said security guards searched his bumbag and found a quantity of substances, which he claimed were valium and paracetamol.

In fact they were 70 yellow circular tablets marked with a star which contained MDMD, weighing just over 27g, with further fragments of tablets and 11 plastic bags of ketamine found.

In total the drugs had a street value of anything between £570 and £1,030. His phone had a large number of texts relating to dealing and buying drugs

Mr Gow said: "He denied bringing any drugs...claiming he found them by the toilets and intended to hand them in to security."

The court heard Gainsborough had just graduated from the University of Bristol with a first class honours degree in psychology and thought he was in control of his drug consumption.

Mitigating, Adam Pearson said: "He was wrong and he knows that now."

He added that Gainsborough, who works at a Covid-19 test centre, had effectively reached the end of his funds and made a foolish choice to use the last of his overdraft to buy drugs to sell at the festival.

The court heard Gainsborough now attends Narcotics Anonymous effectively every day, volunteers for a food bank, delivers food to the homeless in London and has started a part-time masters degree.

Mr Pearson said the offences came at a "very different" time in his life and that he had lost sight of the promise he had.

He said: "A prison sentence would be disastrous for this young man."

Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Rebecca Crane said Gainsborough was "clearly a bright young man" and that the offences crossed the custody threshold.

But she ruled that because of his guilty plea and his work to rehabilitate himself his prison sentence could be suspended.

Gainsborough was sentenced to sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for 14 months.

He will have to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and will have to wear a tag every day for 10 weeks with a curfew, being forced to stay at home between 8pm and 6am daily.

His curfew will be altered every Wednesday so he can attend an evening university lecture.