Source: Lincolnshire Eco, UK

Pub Date: Saturday, 20 April 2002

A man who suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis has received a conditional discharge after admitting growing cannabis plants.

Leo Tristram Wilson, of Coningsby, near Lincoln, grew six cannabis plants in December last year.

Wilson, who appeared at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday for sentencing, also admitted possessing 17.2g of cannabis, which is a class B controlled drug.

Steven Gosnell, in mitigation, said Wilson grew the plants in a propagator in the lounge of his flat because he found smoking cannabis gave him some relief from pain.

"He is somebody who suffers day in and day out from a very debilitating condition," Mr Gosnell told the court.

"In his daily battle against pain he had relied on that cannabis to help him through."

The court heard that Wilson (26) has been told by a doctor that his condition is so severe that he will be in a wheelchair by the time he is 30.

Mr Gosnell told the court that Wilson suffered problems with his hips, knees and ankles and his hip would dislocate as often as twice a month.

Wilson, who has a partner and six-month-old baby, only grew the plants because he did not want his family involved with people who sell drugs, Mr Gosnell added.

Judge Jonathan Teare told Wilson he had sympathy for him but Parliament had determined that cannabis and its production is illegal and so he could not condone it.

"I accept there are grossly extenuating circumstances," he said.

"You suffer from a horrific, debilitating disease from which, at present, there is no immediate relief."

Judge Teare conditionally discharged Wilson for 28 days and ordered the destruction of the drugs and the drug-making equipment.

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