ninorc | 14.12.2006 23:27 | Health
In fact, they went much further than to conspire. When charged over 33 bars of CannaBiz chocolate discovered at the Carlisle sorting office, Mark Gibson told police they might as well charge him for 33,000. When THC4MS production ceased, best estimates suggest that they had smelted and sent out some 38,000 150g bars of chocolate, each containing 3.5g of ground herbal cannabis. Each bar - 24 squares - provided MS patients with 8-12 days of effective medicine. But according to Judge John Phillips, the substantive facts of this case don't matter. What matters is the Law.
Today the defence case concluded with the cross-examination of Marcus Davies by Mr Jeremy Grout-Smith for the CPS, who focused upon THC4MS accounts. Mr Davies had put all the paying in slips and receipts pertaining to THC4MS in a box labelled, 'My Defence'. They showed that THC4MS lost some £13,000 over two years, but the receipts have been lost and, despite the prosecution having said that THC4MS wasn't motivated by financial gain, all Mr Grout-Smith could talk about was money.
Mr Davies took his turn in the witness box to inform the jury that the trial they were seeing was not fair because the full facts were being withheld. They were being denied access to crucial information, such as the sheaf of 63 unsolicited letters from recipients of CannaBiz chocolate that he flourished.
After and early lunch came the closing speeches. Greg Hoare, for Mark Gibson, drew an analagy with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour! As December 7, 1941, was "a date which will live in infamy", Mr Hoare said it would be an infamous day in the English criminal calendar when people were rendered liable to conviction where they had neither moral blame nor criminal intent.
Mr Andrew Ford, for Lezley Gibson, asked the jury to imagine meeting potential new friends, perhaps on holiday, in six months time and the talk turns to their jury service. How might people react to the news that you convicted that woman in Alston with multiple sclerosis who gave cannabis chocolate to other people with MS?
Mr Ford urged the jury to do the right thing, saying there was a marvellous opportunity to acquit his client. Apart for any moral consideration, the Prosecution had failed to prove that she was guilty of Conspiracy. She could not conspire with her husband and she had never met the other defendant, Marcus Davies, before she was arrested. "Ultimately", Mr Ford told the jury, "this case is about the tension between that law and what is just".
Mike Davis, for Marcus Davies, set out to explain who his client had earlier lost his temper. 38,000 bars of chocolate, each containing cannabis worth £20, never mind the chocolate and other considerations: that's nearly a million quid. But the Davies family lives on £387 per week combined benefits. In fact, said Mike Davis, his client helped the couple with a clear intention not to break the law and because he desired to do good.
Then Grouty for the CPS got up and probably said something like, 'the law's the law and they're all guilty'.
Judge Phillips will sum up tomorrow morning before sending out the jury to consider their verdict and we know that he will tell them to disregard all the substantive facts of this case. 'Put those people in wheelchairs out of your mind,' he'll advise them. But will they? Or will they say, 'never mind the Law, these people are innocent'?