In the Summary Court on Wednesday, Mark Gilbert was fined just over two thousand pounds after admitting two drug importing offences.
Mr Gilbert pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to import eight point six grams of cannabis and another of having already imported four grams of cannabis.
Prosecuting lawyer Andrew Dawson told the court that there had been a police investigation, both here and in the UK, after someone at a forwarding company had become suspicious about “a strong herbal smell” coming from a package addressed to Mr Gilbert. It turned out to contain eight point six grams of cannabis and some seeds – although Mr Gilbert claimed to know nothing about the seeds.
Another shipment was already on its way to Mr Gilbert and, when that was checked on arrival in the Islands, one of the boxes was found to contain another four grams of cannabis.
A search at Mr Gilbert’s home discovered was described as equipment and paraphernalia.
Defence lawyer Alison Inglis pointed out that Mr Gilbert had not been charged with growing or supplying cannabis. She said that Mr Gilbert wanted to use the cannabis to relieve intermittent back pain that had got worse and also to help him sleep. She said that the quantities of cannabis involved were very small and consistent with Mr Gilbert self-medicating.
There was some legal argument about which category of the sentencing guidelines applied to the facts of the case and also about whether everything seized in the police search should be destroyed or whether some things should be returned.
Justices of the Peace decided that all but two of the items should be destroyed, including books, scales and plastic bags. However, they also ordered that a tin should be returned, as well as a water timer that the court heard Mr Gilbert used in his Camp polytunnel.
Mr Gilbert was fined a thousand and fifty pounds for each of the two offences and ordered to pay one hundred and fifty pounds prosecution costs, making a total of two thousand two hundred and fifty pounds.