Published: 04/11/2013 09:00 - Updated: 04/11/2013 09:39

Milton Keynes Rastafarian has sentence for growing cannabis cut because he uses it for pain relief

Written bySCOTT KIRK

A devout Rastafarian from Milton Keynes, caged for growing cannabis in his front room, had his sentence cut after top judges heard he smokes the drug for pain relief - and as an essential “sacrament”.

Caleb John-Lewis, 47, received a total 12-month sentence at Aylesbury Crown Court in August after he admitted producing home-grown cannabis.

He was also convicted of possessing the drug with intent to supply in relation to a three-quarter-kilo haul of “Skunk”.

John-Lewis, of Heywood Gate, was prosecuted after police discovered a cluster of cannabis “seedlings” in his living room, plus hydroponic lighting equipment designed to help nurture the plants.

“He is a Rastafarian who explained at the time of his trial that he saw smoking cannabis as a sacrament,” Mr Justice Silber told London’s Appeal Court.

There was no evidence of dealing or commercial gain, added the judge, while John-Lewis said he also needed to use cannabis to cope with a range of chronic health problems, including sickle cell anaemia, severe diabetes and a heart condition.

His case reached the Appeal Court as John-Lewis’ legal team challenged his jail term - which was slashed to eight months.

His barrister, Michelle Harris, argued that he should have received a community sentence for the cannabis production count as “he sees cannabis as a sacrament and has a serious medical condition”.

After a brief hearing, Mr Justice Silber, sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Judge Francis Gilbert QC, decided to reduce the sentence. He concluded that John-Lewis’ original term was “manifestly excessive” and cut it by a third.

< Back
Reddit Facebook Digg Twitter Bebo

Search our business listings

Business Search
Add Your Listing
Restaurant Search
Add Your Listing
Accommodation Search
Add Your Listing
Send us your news and pictures Find out why we love MK Competition time!

Today's Features