Cannabis man was ‘very fortunate’ to get a lower sentence

Beverley Magistrates Court ps1005-19
Beverley Magistrates Court ps1005-19

A Bridlington man who took cannabis to relieve back pain has been given a suspended prison sentence for possession of the drug.

David Fry, 37, of Lansdowne Road, began taking drug for medicinal reasons following an accident in which he broke he spine, East Riding Magistrates’ Court heard.



However district judge Frederick Rutherford said this account was not acceptable due to the amount of drug which had been harvested at his house.

The court heard that Fry had 20 cannabis plants giving a yield valued at almost £3,000. On top of that he had a quantity of the drug stashed in his safe. This had been bagged up into small and large carrier bags and had a value of £2,560, the court heard.

At an earlier hearing, Judge Rutherford decided that the sentencing powers in the magistrates’ court were insufficient to deal with Fry, and therefore sent him to Hull Crown Court to be sentenced.

However a judge there sent the case back to East Riding Magistrates’ Court because he felt the matter fell into the lower sentencing category.

Judge Rutherford said the situation was “surprising and disappointing,” and noted that the correct information had not been passed to the crown court judge.

He told Fry he should consider himself to be “very very fortunate,” adding: “The circumstance are that I shall deal with you. What is the minimum at the crown court becomes the maximum here.”

Defending, Mike Farr said Fry’s accident had left him with a condition in which his spine was pressing on his sciatic nerve.

Judge Rutherford added: “I hear that, but the amount of yield bagged as it was and in his safe takes away the reasonable circumstances of what he is saying.

“It just isn’t feasible for a person in his condition to have such an amount in his house.”

Fry, who pleaded guilty to the offence, was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He must also pay £80 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. An order was made for the drugs and paraphernalia to be forfeited and destroyed.