Man fined over use of cannabis

A GREAT Yarmouth man who told a court he used cannabis for medicinal purposes has been fined £50. Phillip Harsley, of St Nicholas Road, was caught by police on August 6 in Yarmouth in possession of four grams of cannabis which he claimed he smoked to aid his back problem.

A GREAT Yarmouth man who told a court he used cannabis for medicinal purposes has been fined £50.

Phillip Harsley, of St Nicholas Road, was caught by police on August 6 in Yarmouth in possession of four grams of cannabis which he claimed he smoked to aid his back problem.

Prosecuting Rachel Balfour said police had spotted Harsley with a man known to be involved in drugs. Both were seen to take part in an exchange in an alleyway and Harsley was subsequently stopped and searched by police and found to be in possession of two bags of skunk which Harsley said he had paid £20 for.

“He admitted to police he had drugs and said they were for his personal use,” said Miss Balfour, at Yarmouth Magistrates Court last Thursday .

The court heard that Harsley had a previous record and was convicted for possession of heroin in 2004.

Mitigating Chris Bowles said his client had made the point he had been making efforts to change his life.

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Mr Bowles said: “He tells me it is not a question of misusing drugs for no good reason. He went to his GP some time ago for a back problem. He was given tablets but the side effects caused his legs to swell up. He sought further advice and was told to stop the medication. The pain came back and he could not sleep. He believes smoking cannabis helps his pain. There was, underneath this offence, a real medical problem.”

Harsley pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and was also ordered to pay total costs of £75.