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Cannabis User Freed From Jail

Rocky Balboa

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A man who said he used cannabis to relieve his rheumatoid arthritis after police found quantities of the drug at his home will be released from jail immediately after a decision by top judges today. Terrance Michael Hickey, 52, of Shanklin Gardens, South Oxhey, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply at St Albans Crown Court in November last year.

He was sentenced to 15 months jail - a term his lawyers argued at London's Criminal Appeal Court was too long in the light of what his partner, Amanda Andrews, received for the same offence. She was sentenced to a prison term of nine months, suspended for two years, at the same hearing.

Judge Brian Barker, sitting with Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Coulson, said Hickey's drug stash had been uncovered when police raided his home in July last year. They found more than 300 grammes of cannabis resin - with a street value of around UKP900 to UKP1,400. In addition, UKP254 in cash was found on Andrews.

Judge Barker said: "Hickey said he relied on cannabis to be taken on a frequent basis, as he suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis and it would relieve the pain. "They Hickey and Andrews would buy in bulk, as it was cheaper, and they would sell to some of their close friends to fund Hickey's habit."

He said Hickey was also a heavy drinker, and that a medical report showed he had suffered from his condition for 20 years. He added: "It does seem to us that there is a desire to get off cannabis and convert to more conventional methods, and he Hickey hopes that his lifestyle will genuinely improve. "For all these reasons the appropriate order will be to order his immediate release and replace his sentence with one of nine months, suspended for two years." He said Hickey would also have to fulfil a supervision requirement and attend appropriate workshops to help him with his alcohol and drug problems.

Source: Watford Observer
Copyright: 2008 Newsquest Media Group
Website: Watford Observer
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