Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cannabis Granny could be evicted

A 68-year-old grandmother who was convicted of growing cannabis at her Northumberland home is facing eviction if she does not stop using the drug.

Patricia Tabram, from Humshaugh, was spared jail at Carlisle Crown Court on 7 March after being found guilty of possessing and cultivating cannabis.

She claims to use the drug to relieve pain and depression, and has said she intends to continue "self-medicating".

But her housing association said she will be kicked out if she does.

Mrs Tabram was arrested in 2005 when police raided her bungalow near Hexham.

She was in breach of a six-month suspended jail sentence when the officers, acting on a tip-off, found the plants and growing equipment in a walk-in wardrobe.

During her trial, she claimed the drug helped relieve depression after the death of her son and pain following a car crash.

'Last resort'

Despite being warned that she faced a jail term for breaching the suspended sentence, she was given a 250-hour community service order.

Afterwards she said: "I'm going to go on medicating. The police can come to my house every week. I'll give them a cup of tea."

Milecastle Housing, the association with which she is a tenant, held a board meeting to discuss her future, and decided not to evict her immediately.

Tenant services manager Chris Scott said: "The board of Milecastle Housing has agreed to apply to the court for a possession order, suspended for up to two years.

"If the order is granted, she will be allowed to continue living at the property only as long as she observes the terms of her tenancy agreement and specifically does not cultivate, possess or use cannabis in the property.

"Mrs Tabram has been informed of the situation and that her right to remain a resident in the Milecastle property depends entirely upon her behaviour.

"We will be monitoring this very closely in liaison with Northumbria Police."

Milecastle Housing said it made the decision based upon Mrs Tabram's age, health and personal circumstances, as well as association guidelines which state that eviction should be a last resort.

What despicable behaviour from the housing association. What do they hope to achieve by evicting a pension for a little bit of pot?

I'm minded to write to them and express my disgust.

If you feel inclined to do so, their address is -

Milecastle Housing Ltd
Beaufront Park
Anick Road
NE46 4TU

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