GROWING cannabis to help her combat the pain of multiple sclerosis landed a woman before Island magistrates.

The medical condition of Anne-Marie Soloman, 53, of St Andrew's Way, Freshwater, could only be helped by taking the drug, the prosecution solicitor told the court.

Solomon suffered constant pain and spasms in her limbs, magistrates were told.

On December 23 last year, Solomon lost her home to a fire when firefighters found 33 plants and informed the police.

Prosecutor, Vivian Ducie, said: "The tide really has gone out on this woman's life in the last couple of years.

"Her medical condition is one that can only really be properly treated with the help of cannabis.

"Her GP and the local NHS trust have provided a letter that essentially suggest that in an ideal world there would be some form of cannabis derived medicine they would be able to prescribe her.

Defending Soloman, Barry Arnett, said: "She is now living with her son after the fire that destroyed her home.

"She had no insurance, as a result there was about £13,000 worth of damage that she is unable to make up for.

"She told police she only ever grew the plants for her own personal use to alleviate her MS.

"She's been tremendously unfortunate, she hasn't been able to work either for the fact that on June 18 last year she had a fall which saw her falling backwards onto a glass ornament that nearly cut her head off.

"It looked as though someone had tried to decapitate her.

"A lot of people in her position use cannabis to treat the symptoms of MS, and I have absolutely no doubt that had it been less than 33 plants she would not be in the dock today."

The magistrates broke with their guidelines and only gave Solomon a 12-month conditional discharge.

She was also ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a surcharge of £32.

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