A MAN who was caught dealing Spice to fellow inmates at HMP Bullingdon has been given another 12 months behind bars.

Merlando Stapleton had only just begun an 18-month jail term when suspicious officers raided his cell.

In a desperate bid to hide what turned out to be a stash of drugs, a court heard yesterday, he tried to flush the class B drugs down the toilet.

Despite his efforts police found some 20 wraps of the synthetic cannabinoids ready for sale.

The 28-year-old, of Ploughley Close, Kidlington, had already admitted one count of possession with intent to supply the class B drugs.

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At his sentencing hearing at Oxford Crown Court yesterday prosecutor Cathy Olliver said that officers had first searched his cell at the prison near Bicester on April 20 last year.

They were suspicious and when they went inside Stapleton began to throw items towards a toilet and flush them away.

He was not entirely successful in his bid to hide the drugs, however, and officers collected about 20 wraps of Spice strewn on the floor.

The total haul that was seized was made up of 7.76g of the 'pernicious' banned drug.

In mitigation at yesterday's hearing, defence barrister Rhianna Fricker said that her client had been released since the offence and had complied with his post-release licence conditions.

Sentencing, Judge Ian Pringle QC said: "The value of these drugs in prison is greatly increased.

"The expert in this case puts a value of some £1,500 in total.

"It is a pernicious drug that causes serious health difficulties for those who use it.

"I have to pass an immediate prison sentence in this case."

Stapleton was jailed for one year and must also pay a victim surcharge.