Police who raided a remote Herefordshire farmhouse discovered a stash of a new designer drug, a court heard.

They seized 150 tablets of 2 C-B, a class A narcotic similar to LSD and sold on the streets for £20 each.

Worcester Crown Court was told it was the first hoard found by West Mercia Police and is manufactured in back-street kitchens in large cities like London and Manchester.

Hereford officers also found cannabis plants being grown at Dowards Farm, Whitchurch, near Ross-on-Wye, along with magic mushrooms, hash oil and amphetamine.

Sentencing 27-year-old Paul Marsden to four years jail, Judge Andrew Geddes said he was running 'a moderately-sized cannabis farm'.

But he said Marsden had also branched out into dealing in class A drugs and added: "The courts do all in their power to control this evil trade."

Detective Constable Robin Longmore, a drug profits investigation officer, gave evidence that 2 C-B started appearing about 18 months ago and can be taken orally or through the nose.

Users prefer it to LSD because, although it produces hallucinatory images, it does not have frightening after-effects like flashbacks.

Information about 2 C-B was being compiled by police forces through undercover officers and from the Internet where it was posted by traffickers.

Prosecutor Tracy Lloyd-Nesling said police found drugs worth £55,000 in the raid on October 6 last year. Marsden had rented the farm at £1,000 a month and had a number of lodgers.

In one bedroom was growing 91 cannabis plants and 36 were being propagated in a parked coach nearby.

More drugs were found in another bedroom, a wardrobe and an outbuilding. A total of £1,391 in cash was recovered along with a contacts list which included website addresses.

Marsden - who pleaded guilty to eight drug offences, including producing cannabis, possession and possession with intent to supply - claimed he thought 2 C-B was a herbal drug. He had taken them before at parties.

He bought the 150 tablets with a view to selling them at £2 each - £18 below the market value.

But Judge Geddes said being unaware it was a class A drug was no mitigation.

Devan Rampersad, defending, said Marsden, of previous good character, had gone through a difficult time after his parents' acrimonious divorce.