Devon

Cancer patients 'had Brixham cannabis plantation for pain relief'

Cannabis plants
Image caption Christopher Ostermeyer was given a suspended sentence at Exeter Crown Court

A group of cancer patients set up a cannabis plantation to help with pain relief, a court has heard.

Christopher Ostermeyer rented a workshop in Brixham, Devon where he and two other cancer patients and another with multiple sclerosis grew the drug.

He admitted production of cannabis and possession with intent to supply, and was given a suspended sentence at Exeter Crown Court.

Two of those involved have since died and he is still receiving treatment.

When police raided a small industrial unit they found cannabis with a potential street value of £16,800.

Judge Erik Salomonsen told Ostermeyer: "You have told me that you and three others were involved and you all suffered serious and debilitating health conditions, particularly cancer, and two have since died.

"Given there are no aggravating features and you are suffering from a serious medical condition, I am prepared to treat you as someone who shared the product with others suffering from similar conditions."

Former trawlerman Ostermeyer, 60, from Torquay, had his bowel and bladder removed to try to stop the spread of bladder cancer and is still being treated at Torbay Hospital, the court was told.

He told the judge: "We had grown two or three lots before. There were four people involved. Two of the others had cancer and the other had multiple sclerosis. It was not being sold.

"My name was on the lease but all buying of the equipment and the costs were all shared between the four of us. Two of the others have now died."

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