Man ‘used drugs to combat pain’

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A MAN who combated the severe pain of injuries sustained in a biking accident as a teenager by using illicit drugs appeared before Harrogate magistrates in a wheelchair on Tuesday and admitted four charges.

Nigel Paul James Allenby, 46, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, cannabis and a class C drug together with production of cannabis at his flat in Queen Parade, Harrogate.

Prosecutor Kathryn Reeve said police executing a search warrant on July 1 had found 30 cannabis plants of various sizes growing in a bedroom.

Officers had also found herbal cannabis, cocaine and Diazepam. Cultivation equipment, including fertiliser, had been discovered too.

Miss Reeve said police estimated a cannabis yield of up to 1,200 grams from the plants but, after extensive discussions between officers and the Crown Prosecution Service, the authorities were satisfied it was all intended for Allenby’s personal use.

In mitigation Helen Howard said Allenby had drugs offences on his record but they were from 13 years ago after he had run up drug debts. He had looked after drugs for others and been convicted of possession with intent to supply.

Miss Howard said Allenby had been involved in a biking accident as an 18-year-old in which he had sustained spinal injuries.

He had continued to work as a chef – he once had a job at Rudding Park – until seven of eight years ago when his injuries began to give him constant pain.

He found the number of drugs he was prescribed meant he was often dazed and ‘‘not really very with it.’’ Illicit substances took the edge off the ‘‘massive amount of pain’’ he was in on a daily basis.

Miss Howard said Allenby had realised he needed help and had gone voluntarily to the Crime Reduction Initiative which could only be to his benefit.

Court chairman Eric Fell praised Allenby’s self-referral move but told him the court regarded the number of cannabis plants being cultivated as ‘‘quite a lot.’’

Mr Fell called for probation reports to be prepared and bailed Allenby for sentence on September 27.