Cannabis-dealing OAP from Northamptonshire says he was ‘using drug to treat chronic back pain’

Northampton Magistrates Court NNL-150303-120601001
Northampton Magistrates Court NNL-150303-120601001

A 70-year-old man has admitted growing 26 cannabis plants in his house but said he was using it to treat chronic back pain after it was ‘jokingly’ suggested by his doctor.

Brian Partridge, of New Street, Brixworth, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court after his house was raided by police on June 4.

The court heard that three rooms of his property were being used to grow the class B drug, containing a total of 26 plants.

Julie Costello, prosecuting, said officers also found deal bags and a set of scales.

In police interview, Partridge said he used the cannabis for health reasons and used the income from dealing it to his friends and family to help pay his bills.

Mrs Costello said: “He said the cannabis helped with his chronic back pain. He said he grew the cannabis for his personal use but would also sell it to people he knew. He would also swap it for beer with his friends.”

Ms Costello said Partridge had told police he knew it was illegal to grow cannabis but said he would continue doing it as he needed it to treat his back pain.

John Weaver, mitigating, said Partridge had suffered from chronic back pain for 23 years and had tried a number of painkillers to alleviate the pain.

He said: “As a laughing aside his doctor said ‘have you tried cannabis?’. The only reason he has committed this crime is to treat his back pain.”

Partridge pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing a class B drug with intent to supply and another count of possessing a class B drug.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction in the case. Partridge will be sentenced at Northampton Crown Court on July 28.