A MAN who bought what he believed was amphetamine has appeared before the courts after police tests revealed it was in fact crystal meth.

Jonathan Simon Lynsey, of Blandford Close in Poole, was arrested in connection with an unrelated matter on June 8.

During a search, police found a package in his pocket. The substance within the package was tested and found to be class A crystal meth.

The drug, which isn’t frequently seen in Dorset, is known to be both powerful and very addictive. There is evidence long-term use of the drug can cause brain damage.

On Friday, Lynsey, 47, appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court to admit possession of a class A drug.

The defendant has seven further drug convictions.

Mitigating, James Moore urged magistrates to sentence Lynsey to a “short conditional discharge” for his latest offence.

“When I saw he had been charged with possessing crystal meth, I thought, ‘Oh my goodness - this is the drug that’s destroyed the lives of countless addicts in America’,” Mr Moore said.

“However, [Lynsey] believed he was buying amphetamine.”

For the defendant, taking amphetamine would have been “akin to [drinking] a cup of coffee”, the court heard.

“Mr Lynsey has had a very storied life,” Mr Moore said.

“He lost an eye during a vicious attack for no reason at all. That set him off on a life of criminality.”

More recently, Lynsey was a victim of ‘cuckooing’ when a London drugs gang moved into his home to sell drugs, it was heard.

“He had to take quite serious action,” Mr Moore said.

“He had to run from his address in possession of a knife because he had to try and defend himself against this gang.

“Mr Lynsey was then evicted from that address, and thereafter it has been a real disaster for him.

“He was banned from Poole town centre because he was drinking a lot - the truth is that he has kept away from drugs, but substituted drugs for drink.”

Lynsey was previously in supported housing accommodation, but has been so successful he is now living independently with the help of a number of organisations, it was said.

Magistrates sentenced him to a 12-month conditional discharge, as well as £85 costs and a £20 surcharge. The crystal meth will be destroyed.

Earlier this year, Lynsey, then of Langdon Road in Poole, admitted stealing three bottles of Champagne worth £393 from Marks and Spencer in Poole.

The defendant sold the bottles on cheaply to pay for food and accommodation when he was sleeping rough. He was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 in compensation after admitting three counts of theft and two of commission of a further offence while subject to a conditional discharge order.