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Cannabis couple avoid jail

A SHETLAND couple have managed to avoid a jail sentence after they admitted growing thirty cannabis plants with a street value of around £9,000.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Thursday that parenthood had transformed the lives of 32 year old Sandra Grant and 22 year old Andrew Cumming, who were arrested after police raided their home at 6 Ockragarth, in Brae, on 2 March last year.

Sentence on the pair had been delayed while Grant had their first baby and they undertook treatment, including residential rehabilitation on the UK mainland, to help deal with their drug problems.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said that they had responded well to the help they had been offered and turned their lives around.

“It’s quite clear from the reports that having the care of a child and being coached as to what they should be doing for it has had a profound effect on both of them,” he said.

“It’s something which has been a hugely positive experience, beyond the norm of having a child, in terms of their behaviour and where they intend to go with it.

“They still have care of the child and both are committed to being together as a family and brining up that child.”

He said that fearing a jail sentence they had put in place measures to ensure the child would be cared for while they were incarcerated.

But Sheriff Philip Mann said he could see they had both “knuckled down” and were trying to build “a decent life for yourselves and your young child”.

He also accepted that the cannabis plants had been for their personal use and not to supply others.

Instead of sending them to custody, he placed them on a night time curfew for two months.

Furthermore he ordered Grant to be placed under supervision for nine months, while Cumming must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.