A psychiatric patient who was duped into buying fake heroin has appeared in court on a drug charge.

James Christopher Cowton’s troubles doubled when police arrested him in Fishergate, York magistrates heard.

Steven Ovenden, prosecuting, said as the police officer detained Cowton, there was “some dispute” over who was holding a bicycle which ended up with the bicycle crashing into a red Renault Clio and causing damage estimated at £320.

The court heard that although police analysed a substance found in Cowton’s possession and found it not to be heroin, he had broken the law because he thought it was heroin when he bought it.

Cowton, 33, of Arden House, Fifth Avenue, Tang Hall, York, pleaded guilty to attempting to possess heroin and criminal damage.

Magistrates ordered him to fully compensate the owner of the car and made no separate penalty for the drugs offence.

Cowton’s solicitor, John Howard, said his client had psychiatric difficulties and was receiving help from a drugs agency and a community psychiatric nurse. Cowton admitted the criminal damage on the grounds he had been reckless as to whether his actions would cause damage.