Gran sold dope to fund sick granddaughter's treatment

By Rebecca Malcolm,

A woman who grew and sold cannabis did so to help fund medical care for her sick granddaughter, a court has heard.

Joy Finley, 56, appeared in the Rotorua District Court yesterday for sentencing after she admitted one charge of supplying cannabis and another of growing cannabis.

She was sentenced to six months' home detention and 250 hours' community work.

Her lawyer, Arama Ngapo-Lipscombe, told the court Finley became involved in growing and selling cannabis so she could make money to help care for her special needs grand-daughter for whom she was caring.

The Tokoroa woman was caught after police executed a search warrant on her property in February, and found a growing operation, including 75 cannabis plants, six seedlings and a small quantity of dried cannabis.

When spoken to by police, Finley admitted she had been selling cannabis for about 12 months.

Ms Ngapo-Lipscombe said the money she received - which was about $500-$700 a month - went towards helping pay for petrol for regular trips to Waikato Hospital as well as paying for prescription medication which wasn't subsidised.

"She didn't see any other way ... It was definitely not a case of funding a lifestyle that was extravagant."

Her client was "extremely naive" to the scale of her offending, shown by Finley initially asking whether she would be offered diversion.

In sentencing Finley, Judge John McDonald said he suspected she had little to show for her criminal activities.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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