Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Man set up own arrest to sell spice in prison

Kevin Hancock Image copyright SYP
Image caption Kevin Hancock, 40, was arrested at a Tesco store in Rotherham

A man who deliberately got arrested for shoplifting so he could make money selling drugs in prison has been jailed for a year.

Kevin Hancock is thought to be one of the first in the country sentenced under new laws to tackle the supply of drugs formally known as "legal highs".

At Sheffield Crown Court, he admitted possession of a psychoactive substance with intent to supply.

The 40-year-old, from Rotherham, also admitted theft and six other charges.

Police said Hancock was seen stealing a bottle of whisky on 15 June in a Tesco store in Rotherham. Officers also found heroin inside a Kinder egg capsule he was carrying.

Further searches found he was carrying the drug spice.

'Untested substances'

Acting Det Ch Insp Graham Bulmer, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "One of the main aspects of the law change was to make it illegal to possess or supply psychoactive substances in prison and Hancock told officers that he'd deliberately got arrested for shoplifting so that he could make more money selling spice in prison.

"This new legislation can only help us in our fight to protect and educate vulnerable people about illegal and untested substances and punish those, like Hancock, who use psychoactive substances for their own gain."

In May, the Psychoactive Substances Act was passed by the government, making production and supply of 'legal highs' illegal.

Legislation was revised in January to make possession of psychoactive substances such as spice and black mamba also illegal.

Image copyright EPA


  • Replicates the doping effect of cannabis
  • Gained notoriety following reports of its widespread use in prisons
  • Comes as a smoking mix and has been known to cause paranoia, delirious ranting and hallucinations
  • Similar drugs go by the names of black mamba and annihilation

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