A St Albans care worker who bought a package of illegal magic mushrooms through a web site and had them sent from Holland to his mum’s home in Letchworth was today (Friday) spared jail.

Instead David Crisp, 33, of Waverley Road, who pleaded guilty to importing 541g of the class A drug with intent to evade prohibition was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours’ unpaid work, with £400 costs.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC, told Crisp, a support worker for vulnerable adults with learning difficulties and autism, as he sentenced him at Cambridge Crown Court, that he accepted he was remorseful and had lost his good character.

However, the judge continued : "It’s not an inconsiderable amount of drugs imported, using a different name and sent to your mother’s address."

Prosecutor James McLernon said UK Border staff  at Heathrow Airport intercepted a package from Holland on 21 January this year containing 541g of magic mushroom. It was addressed to Crisp’s mother’s home in Lytton Avenue, Letchworth, in the name of T Cross.

Police executed a search warrant on 27 January and the defendant’s mother told police her son would have packages delivered to her from time to time. She said she didn’t know of any-one by the name of T Cross.

Crisp voluntarily went to Hatfield police station on 30 January and told officers he had paid 220 euros on a website for the substance which was for personal use. It would give him "25 servings".

"It was a stupid mistake", he told police.

Police investigations of the Dutch website confirmed the price Crisp had said. Magic mushrooms were made illegal in Holland in 2008 but there was a loophole where truffles were made by particular companies.

However, the website urged buyers to check the legality of importing it into Europe or the UK, said the prosecutor.

Mitigating, Alessandro Di Francesco said the dry weight of the drug was 199g. The 541g also included packaging.

Crisp used magic mushrooms for his depression and anxiety. His prescribed medication had associated side effects.

"It’s been a salutary lesson for a 33-year-old man of good character," added the barrister.