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Exmouth man faces court for cannabis worth 36p

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: March 17, 2010

FINES REDUCED: Exeter magistrates took pity on David Milburn who admitted a drug offence

A MAN has appeared in court  charged with possessing 36p  worth of cannabis — and come  out more than £500 better off.
David Milburn, 42, admitted  having the tiny amount of class  B drug that officers found in his  wallet on Christmas Eve.
He pleaded guilty to possessing the cannabis when he appeared before at Exeter magistrates  and was told to stay out of  trouble for six months.
Magistrates then took pity on  Milburn and reduced a bill of  £1,315 in outstanding fines to  the court by more than £500.
He  was paying them off at a  rate of £5 a week deducted from  his benefits.
Prosecutor Karen Ball told  the court Milburn, of Cheshire  Road, Exmouth, was arrested at  a train station in Gloucester  after an altercation with a station attendant.
While in custody he was  searched and officers found  0.2gms of herbal cannabis in the  corner of his wallet.
 Mrs Ball told the court: “It  was less than a pound in value,  in actual fact 36p.”
She asked magistrates for the  drugs to be destroyed and for  Milburn to pay £85 costs — a  request the magistrates refused.
Representing himself in  court, Milburn told the bench  he was travelling to his sister’s  home to spend Christmas with  his son and mother when he was  advised to change on to the  wrong train on his journey.
“I had an argument with one  of the attendants and the police  were called,” he said.
 “I don’t smoke cannabis anymore. It must have been there  for a long time because I did not  even know it was in my wallet.
“It was such a small amount  in the corner and had fluff all  around it.”
Magistrates sentenced Milburn to a six-month conditional  discharge for the offence.
The court was told Milburn  had already paid £913 in fines  and the remainder included  penalties for not paying his TV  licence.
Magistrates reduced two  fines of £350 down to £100 each  and accepted £90 as payment for  a £150 fine, all imposed for non  payment of a TV licence.
They said had the court  known of his financial circumstances when the penalties had  been imposed they would not  have been so severe.
Magistrates told Milburn:  “Because of your circumstances  we make no order for costs in  this case. We have done what we  can to help you.”

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