A man said to have “gone nuts” after taking legal highs barricaded himself in a friend’s room as he thought a group of people were after him.
Perth Sheriff Court heard how Thomas Townsley’s eyes were “bulging” and he became paranoid after taking the unknown substance.
The dangers of legal highs have been highlighted recently with Police Scotland Chief Inspector Mike Whitford, area commander of Perth and Kinross, claiming some people are “ravenously addicted” to them, and a Perth man was hospitalised after taking legal highs he bought in a Perth shop.
Councillors Alexander Stewart and Peter Barrett have both called for police to crack down on shops selling the psychoactive substances.
Depute fiscal Stuart Richardson said Townsley, 44, of Brora Court, Perth, had been invited to a friend’s flat after meeting him in the street.
“The accused began to behave bizarrely and began shouting and swearing and barricaded himself in a room at the property by moving furniture around,” he said.
“The man’s friend was so concerned about this that he phoned the police.”
The court heard that Townsley was still barricaded in the room when officers arrived.
“The accused was talking about people following him when officers entered the flat and he told them he had taken legal highs.”
Solicitor David Holmes, defending, said his client had taken the legal highs and then felt paranoid.
“My client’s friend said that he had gone nuts,” Mr Holmes said.
“His eyes were bulging and he thought a number of people were after him. He felt this was a genuine threat.
“My client realised taking this legal high was a bad idea. He was due to go into hospital but had to postpone this after this incident.”
Townsley admitted that on March 22 at a flat in High Street, Perth, he barricaded himself within the property and repeatedly shouted and swore.
Sheriff Donald Ferguson admonished Townsley, but told him: “I hope you don’t touch these legal highs again.”