Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Driver fined for crash after taking mephedrone

Kevin Cheyne
Kevin Cheyne said he thought M-Cat should probably be banned

A teenager who crashed into two cars while under the influence of the "legal high" mephedrone has been fined and banned from driving.

Kevin Cheyne, 19, admitted dangerous driving and failing to stop when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

He passed a breathalyser test but was unsteady and incoherent.

The government's chief drugs adviser has indicated his panel will recommend the substance be made illegal after it was linked to three recent deaths.

Mephedrone - known by names such as M-Cat, meow meow and bubbles - is sold on the internet as a plant feeder.

Interestingly, when asked why he didn't stop, he said he didn't realise what he had done so perhaps the drug affected him more than he was able or willing to admit
Jim Craigen
Principal fiscal

Principal fiscal Jim Craigen told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that Cheyne told police officers who stopped him in the city that he had not been aware that he had hit the cars.

Mr Craigen said: "He said he had taken a drug which he described as M-Cat. My Lord may have encountered this drug by reference to it in the Press recently.

"He told police that it didn't affect the brain, it just makes you feel hot and cold.

"Interestingly, when asked why he didn't stop, he said he didn't realise what he had done so perhaps the drug affected him more than he was able or willing to admit."

'Salutary lesson'

The apprentice mechanic's defence agent Gregor Kelly said Cheyne taken the substance at a friend's house, but had not been aware that it was mephedrone.

He added that it was a "salutary lesson" to other young people in a similar position.

Sheriff Colin Harris fined Cheyne a total of £600. He was also banned from driving for a year and ordered to resit his test.

Nicholas Smith and Louis Wainwright
Nicholas Smith and Louis Wainwright died earlier this month

Afterwards, Cheyne, of Glass, Aberdeenshire, said he regretted taking the drug and said it should probably be banned.

The government's chief drugs adviser, Prof Les Iversen, has said he expects a recommendation to be made to the home secretary when the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs meets to consider the issue.

Louis Wainwright, 18, and Nicholas Smith, 19, died in Scunthorpe earlier this month after taking M-Cat.

A number of other deaths have been investigated to see if they are connected to the drug.

They include the death of 24-year-old Lois Waters, who was found at a friend's house in Norton, North Yorkshire, on Monday.



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'Legal high' drug banned in city
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'Legal high' warning after death
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What is legal high mephedrone?
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