Cancer sufferer who grew cannabis for personal use has £100,000 seized as 'proceeds of crime'
A court has ordered Barry Steward to hand over income from the last six years after he was convicted of cultivating the drug.
A 67-year-old man who grew cannabis to relieve his bowel cancer has been ordered to hand over £100,000 under proceeds of crime laws.
Retired marine diver Barry Steward was convicted of cultivating the drug after police found 91 cannabis plants at his home in Udny Station, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, worth an estimated £14,000, between April 2007 and April 2008.
The Crown Office accepted Steward had grown the cannabis for personal use after he claimed he was relieving the pain caused by bowel cancer.
He was sentenced in May 2009 to carry out 200 hours of community service.
Prosecutors then launched an investigation into Steward's finances under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 after claiming he may have sold the drug.
At the time of the raid police said the cannabis farm at Steward's home, where he lived with his wife Sandra, 64, was on a scale more commonly seen in the context of “organised crime gangs”.
On Friday Aberdeen Sheriff Court made a confiscation order against Steward for £104,650.94 of his earnings from the last six years which could not be accounted for legitimately.
A Crown Office spokesman said: "Although his conviction was for production of a relatively small amount of cannabis in comparison to the amount of the confiscation order the court ruled that, by virtue of his conviction for cultivating cannabis, Barry Steward had a criminal lifestyle.
"This meant that the court was entitled to consider that the income and assets obtained during the period of six years prior to the date of the offence were the proceeds of crime and to take these into account when determining the amount of the confiscation order."
By Gordon Darroch
30 September 2011 21:03 GMT
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.