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Drugs conviction for helping MS sufferer

PUBLISHED: 20:29 31 January 2002 | UPDATED: 15:25 03 March 2010

EASING a friend's pain has come at a cost to an Ipswich man who bought cannabis for a multiple sclerosis sufferer.

Factory worker, Kevin Baker, now has a conviction for drug dealing after admitting buying an ounce of cannabis for his former partner, Faith Backhouse.

EASING a friend's pain has come at a cost to an Ipswich man who bought cannabis for a multiple sclerosis sufferer.

Factory worker, Kevin Baker, now has a conviction for drug dealing after admitting buying an ounce of cannabis for his former partner, Faith Backhouse.

The couple, who have a son, are no longer in a relationship but still live together in Cambridge Drive, Ipswich. Baker bought the drug to help 32-year-old Miss Backhouse cope with her pain.

At magistrates court in Ipswich yesterday, Baker, 27, was sentenced to 60 hours community service after pleading guilty to possession of drugs with intent to supply. However, after the case he said he believed cannabis was of great benefit to multiple sclerosis sufferers.

He said: "I accept the punishment because I broke the law so I suppose I deserve the sentence I received but I would like to see the laws changed for this situation.

"I understand there is a massive recreational use of cannabis and perhaps that is clouding the issue of medicinal use.

"At the time she (Faith), was in a lot of pain so I had no problem doing what I did."

He added that the drug, which could be re-classified from class B to class C, has a dramatic affect on Miss Backhouse's symptoms.

He said: "The pain is totally relieved from smoking cannabis so she is able to exercise her personality and live an ordinary life."

Ironically, if Baker had told police the drug was for his own use, he could have received a lighter sentence as he would have been charged solely with possession rather than possession with intent to supply.

At South East Suffolk Magistrates Court Ian Pells, prosecuting, said Baker was not attempting to make any commercial gain from buying the drugs – an ounce of cannabis with a street value of about £55.

He went on: "At 9.40pm last Saturday, police officers on duty saw the defendant acting suspiciously in Shafto Road.

"He was seen to discard a pedal cycle and seen to go into an address in this particular road. He was searched and cannabis resin was found in his possession."

Howard Catherall, in mitigation, said the drugs would have been used by Miss Backhouse to relieve her pain.

On top of the community punishment order magistrates ordered Baker to pay £55 towards prosecution costs.

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