Alcohol is a bizarre concoction; one minute, it gives you the courage to speak to your crush, the next it has you asleep upside-down in a dumpster, in a town you haven't even heard of (or even worse - a different country, depending on how hard you partied that night).
This story lands somewhere in the middle of those two situations - a man was found filling his hotel bath with potatoes went on a “bizarre” five-day drug binge with his friends. James Johnson, 30, was caught by officers wearing a woman’s bra over his shirt and carrying a bag of spuds as he entered the Travelodge in Eastleigh, near Southampton, in Southern England.
Upon inspection of his room, an assortment of drugs, including ecstasy, 5-MAPB - similar to MDMA - and psychedelic substance 2CB was found as well as the tub full of potatoes. Did we mention he was in a bra?
When queried by baffled Judge Peter Henry at Southampton Crown Court as to why he had done it, he was told that “it felt like the right thing to do at the time”. The court heard that Johnson and two friends had come back to his hometown of Eastleigh to go on a one-night binge, this party, however, turned into a five-night stay, with numerous drugs being consumed by the trio.
The prosecutor, James Kellman, told the court during the hearing that officers were called when hotel staff smelt a strong whiff of marijuana coming from their room. Mr Kellam said: “They saw Johnson with the bag of potatoes and in women’s clothing. It may be this that led officers to believe that he was intoxicated.” I know courts are meant to be impartial and all, but I imagine very few disagreed with this theory.
The number of drugs seized at the hotel and, in a separate search at his home in Ely, led to charges of possession with intent to supply, charges which Johnson pleaded guilty to. In an interview, Johnson said he had bought the drugs on the dark web for around £750 ($1,006) - however, after testing, a drug expert found that the true value of the drugs was around £300 ($402), and that some of the substances had been tampered with.
The court heard that Johnson, who works as a volunteer, was supposed to take prescribed medication, but had stopped doing so when he took the class A drugs. Unyime Davies, a mitigator, said that Johnson was “remorseful” and was an “intelligent man who made a mistake”. In sentencing, Judge Henry said the case was “odd and bizarre” and the consequences of the binge could have been dangerous.
Johnson was given an 18-month community order, with the requirement to carry out a nine-month drug rehabilitation programme. Considering the potatoes didn't cause any damage to the hotel, and the only person he really harmed was himself (if we null the embarrassment caused to his friends and family), it seems like a fitting sentence. The only thing missing is a viral video of the incident. Ah, well.