Devon

Drug taking Exeter pensioners appear in court

A couple in their 60s have appeared in court on drugs charges.

Mike Bending, 66, has used cannabis for 50 years, while his 62-year-old wife Patricia also used drugs "on special occasions".

The couple, of Pennsylvania Road, Exeter, admitted possessing cannabis and amphetamines.

Exeter Magistrates' Court gave Mrs Bending a 12 month conditional discharge with and Mr Bending a three-month night time curfew.

Both were fined £50 in costs.

The court was told Bending started smoking cannabis as a teenager and it had remained a part of his life.

A probation officer said he was "stuck in the past in the 60s and the summer of love".

He lived in communes and went to music festivals, including Glastonbury years before it became the huge event it has become in recent years, the court heard.

Prosecutor Karen Ball said police raided the couple's flat earlier this month and found 30 grams of cannabis and 3.68 grams of amphetamines.

Miss Lynda Hodgson, defending the couple, said Mr Bending used cannabis to alleviate his many health problems including arthritis.

He was also a social user at home and his drug use caused no harm to others.

Birthday celebration

"He knows it is against the law and he should not be doing it but finds it very difficult to give up," she said.

"It's a way of life for him - he doesn't know how to cope without it."

Miss Hodgson said Bending's wife used drugs on special occasions and this time it had been to celebrate her birthday.

"She knows it is wrong but uses it for social pleasure but she is not so reliant on the drug," said Miss Hodgson.

The court agreed to relax Bending's curfew for one week in October when the couple go on holiday to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

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