Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Readers Support Convicted Man

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Readers Support Convicted Man

Article excerpt

A DARLING Downs magistrate's show of leniency for an elderly man who grew marijuana to ease his dying wife's pain has been supported by The Chronicle readers.

The man was charged with manufacturing and possessing the drug and faced a possible stiff sentence and heavy fine.

But on hearing the man's submission that he grew it to ease the pain of his life partner - who passed away the day police arrived at his house - magistrate Bevan Manthey reached out.

Before announcing his sentence Mr Manthey told the court that he had "never done this before" and downgraded the penalty handed down to 73-year-old Michael Ernest Hallows.

Defence lawyer Bonnie O'Brien had told the court her client's wife had been suffering from terminal cancer and had been taking marijuana for pain relief.

"The cannabis was grown to help his wife ease her pain," she said.

Mr Manthey said the sentence downgrade also took into account Hallows' early guilty plea and his complete lack of criminal history.

"I've never done this before but each case must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis," he said.

"I could've hit you with a big fine ... but I will place you on a bond."

The charges came when police were called to the man's Stanthorpe property on July 12 and discovered the seized quantity of marijuana.

Mr Manthey placed Hallows on a 12-month behaviour bond with a fine of $1000. No conviction was recorded.

The majority of readers applauded the magistrate's compassion, saying they would do the same for a loved one.

- with Warwick Daily News


Annika Delaney: Whilst breaking the law is unacceptable. I'm glad that this judge showed some compassion for this man. He did it to help his terminally ill wife. I would do the same for a loved one. They need to legalise it for medicinal purposes it's been proven to help. …

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