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Cannabis dealer avoids jail for selling only to the ill

Cannabis dealer avoids jail for selling only to the ill following campaign by BBC presenter and hundreds of his cancer-stricken clients

  • Andrew Baines faced 15 years in jail having found 2lb of cannabis at his home 
  • The cannabis worth £10,000 was seized following a police raid in Lincolnshire 
  • BBC Radio Sheffield  presenter Becky Hayes gave Baines a character reference
  • She told the court about the help Baines gave her father who had throat cancer 

A BBC presenter and hundreds of cancer patients united to help a cannabis dealer avoid jail after telling a judge he supplied the drug solely for pain relief.

Andrew Baines, 46, faced up to 15 years in prison after police found around 2lb of cannabis worth £10,000 and at least 30 plants at his Lincoln home in April 2020.

He was charged with the supply and production of a Class B substance, but was prosecuted for the lesser offence of cultivation and production when it became clear he only sold to terminal cancer patients.

Andrew Baines, 46, faced up to 15 years in prison after police found around 2lb of cannabis worth £10,000 and at least 30 plants at his Lincoln home in April 2020 (file photograph) 

Mr Baines pleaded guilty at Grimsby Magistrates' Court which was sent testimonies from hundreds of patients and their families explaining how he had helped relieve their pain

Mr Baines pleaded guilty at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court which was sent testimonies from hundreds of patients and their families explaining how he had helped relieve their pain

Mr Baines pleaded guilty and the court was sent testimonies from hundreds of patients and their families explaining how he had helped relieve their pain. Among those who wrote to the judge was Becky Hayes, a presenter on BBC Radio Sheffield, who outlined how Mr Baines helped her father, who had throat cancer.

She said: ‘Andrew travelled a long way to come and see me and Dad to talk us through everything. He never charged for his time or asked for anything in return… he is the most selfless man.’

Mr Baines, who said he fell into debt providing the service, was given a six-month community order with no costs.

At Grimsby Magistrates’ Court, deputy district judge Geraldine Kelly said: ‘If the law was different, Mr Baines would have been applauded, not punished.’

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