Personal trainer experimented with Spice

A boxer who coaches autistic children raided a house and ended up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act after taking the drug Spice, a court heard.

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

Personal trainer Luke Gorton (32) had been experimenting with the synthetic drug after he lost his building job and got depressed. He ended up walking into a house in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon and coming straight out again with a 46-inch LG TV. Gorton was caught on CCTV and was arrested.

Magistrates in Burnley were told that when the drug started to wear off a day or two later, Gorton realised he knew the victim, who had been out, through her brother-in-law. He was said to have then not only returned the television, but voluntarily paid the woman £50 compensation.

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The magistrates heard ex-con Gorton had managed to turn his life around and put crime behind him until he took Spice, thinking it could lift his mood.

The defendant, of Cog Lane, Burnley, admitted burglary at the property on Ulster Street in the town on March 12th. He will be sentenced in May.

Mr Nick Cassidy (defending) said Gorton went to jail in 2015 and when he came out, he got a full-time job and was approved to go on a course to help young people and autistic children with boxing and fitness courses.

The solicitor added: "In essence, he tried to turn his back on crime. He managed to secure employment for the first time at a local factory and then with a local construction company, but 10 weeks ago he was laid off. It came as something of a shock.

"Unfortunately, this defendant turned to drink and what he tells me in relation to the synthetic drug, Spice, which I am sure you have seen on the news and in the press, he started to experiment with some friends. He started to take Spice in relation to depression. In the cold light of day it can't assist. It can only do harm."

Mr Cassidy added the defendant was now in touch with the mental health team, was on medication and he was awaiting an appointment with a consultant.