A former teacher nicknamed "The Cookie Lady" fed biscuits laced with cannabis to children as young as 12.

Lesley Collins, 61, from Cleethorpes in the UK told the four youngsters "I'm your nana" before handing them out from a knitted bag.

She offered the treats to two girls and two boys who had gone inside a pub to use the toilet.

One of the girls was sick after eating half a biscuit and confronted Collins to ask what they had eaten. The other girl said that the biscuit "tasted sweet and disgusting at the same time".


Collins was a talented artist and a former teacher who had supported the Hull City of Culture bid.

She had a fine art degree, had taught people in prison and had created various works of art for local organisations.

The Corporation Arms in Grimsby where Collins gave the cookies to the four children. Photo / Google
The Corporation Arms in Grimsby where Collins gave the cookies to the four children. Photo / Google

Collins pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis and was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and 10 days' rehabilitation at Grimsby Crown Court.

Jeremy Evans, prosecuting, described how the offence happened inside the Corporation Arms in Grimsby.

The children - three aged 13 and one aged 12 - had been socialising outside and went in to use the toilet at around 8.30pm.

They bumped into Collins, who the prosecutor said was behaving strangely and told them: "I'm your nana."

She was holding a patterned and knitted bag, offered them some cookies and handed them over.

"She kept telling the group that she was a dinner lady and a grandmother," said Evans.


The two girls began eating the biscuits but were both sick, the court heard.

Collins was known as "The Cookie Lady" for having a regular stash of homemade biscuits made of cannabis, the court was told.

One of the girls ate half a biscuit and was later taken to hospital after feeling dizzy and sick. A boy who ate a biscuit did not suffer any ill-effects, the court was told. Another had possible traces of cannabis in his urine.

The youngsters approached a Police Community Support Officer after the incident and one of them was taken to hospital.

A small amount of cannabis was seized from Collins' home by police and bags of biscuits were found in a wheelie bin.

Collins told police: "It's despicable. I didn't know I had done it. I was drunk."

Nick Worsley, mitigating, said Collins acted "utterly out of character" and had no previous convictions. "Her career is destroyed," he added.

She had suffered mental health and depression problems and turned to self-medicating with cannabis.

"She is a mother and a grandmother," he said. "This is nothing that she would consciously do. She is devastated by what she has done. She is very concerned for the children who were involved in this.

"It was an isolated and reckless event. She apologises to those who have been affected - the children and their families."

Sentencing her, Judge David Tremberg told Collins: "This was seriously irresponsible and abnormal behaviour. If you had not been so intoxicated, you would not have dreamed of doing this.

"Mercifully, none of them were seriously harmed. You cannot possibly have known what effect giving children of this age cannabis biscuits might have had on them.

"In their disoriented state, they might have been run over. Your behaviour was grossly irresponsible.

"You were drunkenly oblivious to the risk you posed to them."