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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Cumbrian father and son spared jail for drugs charges

A father and son escaped jail for drugs offences after a court heard how their wife and mother was terminally ill.

The pair, both called Alan Fleming, of Romany Hill, Rowrah, Frizington, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday charged with drugs offences.

Fleming junior, 23, admitted supplying bush cannabis, possession of cocaine, possession of the class C drug TMFPP, possession of 11g of cannabis, and possession of class C drug BZP.

The last charge related to traces found on scales.

His father, 48, admitted one charge of being involved in the supply of bush cannabis.

The court was told that Elaine Fleming, the wife and mother, had also been charged with a number of drug offences after her DNA was found on packages of drugs. The indictment has been instructed to lie though, after a previous court heard medical evidence which said she was terminally ill.

Prosecutor Kim Whittlestone said that on July 2, 2010, police had been watching the Fleming home. They saw a maroon car arrive at the property, and leave a short time later. A search revealed three 1g packets of bush cannabis on the driver, and a further package in the car.

Mrs Whittlestone continued: “As a result, officers attended the home address and a search revealed three bags of cocaine.”

Officers also found scales, a cutting agent, quantities of cash and empty packets similar to those found in the car they had earlier searched. Mrs Whittlestone said a “drugs doll” had been found hidden in the garden, containing at least 11g of cannabis.

Greg Hoare, defending Fleming senior, said his client had been a hard working man until 2002, when he was forced to give up employment to look after his wife and sons full-time.

Rod Halligan, defending Fleming junior, added that he was on incapacity benefit and suffered from depression, which began when he was made unemployed.

Sentencing them, Judge Peter Hughes QC said: “You both come from a family which has a number of problems visited upon you, which are not your personal responsibility; a wife and mother with serious health difficulties and a son and brother, also with significant health difficulties. There is a background of loss of employment and financial difficulty.

“The last thing either of you should wish to do is to bring further problems into the family by getting involved in the drug scene.”

He added that in the “ordinary course of events”, the charges would lead to immediate prison sentences, but he thought there was a “more constructive approach”.

Fleming junior was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also made the subject of a 12-month community order, putting him under supervision, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Hughes warned him that being on incapacity benefit did not count as a valid reason why the work could not be completed.

Fleming senior was given a 12-month community order under supervision, and ordered to complete 75 hours unpaid work.

The judge ordered any further charges on the indictment which either of the men had denied should be left on file.

eparsons@cngroup.co.uk

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