GANGSTERS pistol-whipped a drug user in his home and shot a blank-firing gun into his groin, York Crown Court heard.

The group of men attacked Mark Daniel McKeever after he tried to get rid of more than five kilograms of amphetamine worth more than £16,000

He was supposed to be storing it for someone else, the court heard.

“This was an example of what can happen if people take drugs and mix with the wrong people,” said the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris.

Dan Cordey, prosecuting, said police got a call that four or five men had gone to McKeever’s home in Leeman Road, York, in early May last year.

“He (McKeever) had clearly been attacked, quite an unpleasant attack,” he said.

Then police found the drugs.

The judge said the men had pistol-whipped McKeever and a gun was discharged in his groin.

“It has had a huge effect on your life and your mental health,” he told the 35-year-old former drug user.

He added: “You have been punished and there will be more punishment still.”

He passed a 14-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months on condition McKeever does 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Convicted robber McKeever pleaded guilty to possessing 5.5 kg of amphetamine with intent to supply it to another person.

He entered his plea on the basis that he was acting as a warehouseman and storing the drugs for others.

He had been scared of the consequences of keeping the drug and had tried to get rid of it.

He had suffered from post traumatic stress disorder following the attack, the basis of plea states.

Defence barrister Susannah Proctor said: “He got himself in quite a lot of debt with people which ultimately culminated in this situation.

“He was in a difficult situation and he was under a huge amount of pressure.

“He simply wasn’t able to cope with it.”

He had had extensive hospital treatment as a result of the attack and was getting psychiatric help.

He had taken recreational drugs from a young age.

Following the incident, he had broken contacts with the people he had been mixing with and had got psychiatric help.

He also no longer took drugs and had a job.

“He is a very different man to the man who committed this offence,” she said.

Mr Cordey said police found 5.5 kg of amphetamine at McKeever’s home.

Its purity varied from eight to 10 per cent.

It was worth between £11,000 and £16,360, depending on how it was sold.

At a previous hearing, he had said police were aware of messages from McKeever trying to get the drugs moved from his house.

McKeever was jailed for three years for robbery in 2007.

Bradford Crown Court heard then how he and an accomplice had been drinking in Swinegate, York, on race night.

They noticed a racegoer celebrating his winnings in the same bar.

They laid in wait for him outside the bar and mugged him.