Man killed friend in cannabis row

BBC News | 15 Sep 2006 |

Lord Brailsford said: “The stab wounds showed this was a frenzied and violent attack.”

A man who stabbed his friend to death after a row over a piece of cannabis has been jailed for life.

The body of Sean Steedman, 37, was found in his Edinburgh home in July after friends climbed up to his window and saw him lying in a pool of blood.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Alexander Barclay, 45, admitted the murder of Mr Steedman.

The judge, Lord Brailsford, said Barclay must serve at least 12 years before he can apply for parole.

The victim had received a dozen stab wounds to his chest.

Lord Brailsford said: “The stab wounds showed this was a frenzied and violent attack.”

Murder fear

Advocate depute Angela Grahame, prosecuting, said both men had alcohol problems and used to drink together.

The court heard how Mr Steedman of Calder Drive, Edinburgh, was in Barclay’s flat in the same street, on 11 July, with others, drinking and smoking cannabis.

After a row about a piece of cannabis Barclay was left alone in his flat.

Ms Grahame said he arrived at his nephew’s home in the early hours of the morning and announced: “I have just murdered somebody.”

Barclay dumped the blood-stained clothing in a rubbish chute and threw his knife into the Union Canal but later that day broke down and told his girlfriend, Moira Meldrum, he thought he had murdered someone.

Anxious friends

She went to Mr Steedman’s home to find anxious friends were already trying to find out what had happened to him.

When Ms Meldrum brought the news back to Barclay he said: “Oh my God, what have I done? That’s my pal.”

He then handed himself in to police.

Solicitor advocate Ray Megson, defending, said Barclay was an alcoholic who also dabbled in amphetamine, heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.

The lawyer said that on the day of the murder he had been drinking since 0900 BST and said the events of that day were still “a bit of a blur”.

He added that Barclay regarded Mr Steedman as one of his best friends.

Lord Brailsford said it was a warning to others to avoid abusing alcohol when it could lead to such events.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/5350298.stm

Cannabis, murder and the ‘Liverpool Echo’

Below is a copy of the email I sent to the editor of the Liverpool Echo two days ago, following an exchange with several of their journalists on Twitter. I received a reply yesterday, one that was polite and thoughtful, but ultimately unsatisfactory. The main journalist in question, Jonathan Humphries, has stopped engaging with me on Twitter, leaving unanswered my question about why he did not mention cannabis at all in his main reports on the conviction and sentencing of Sami Salem.

Dear Sir, Madam,

My name is Ross Grainger. I am the founder of Attacker Smoked Cannabis (attackersmokedcannabis.com), an online catalogue of cases of suicide and psychopathic violence committed by cannabis smokers. I am writing to you regarding a recent Twitter exchange I had with several of your journalists (in copy) about two cases of murder reported in your paper.

I would first like to provide some context by telling you a bit about my site. Created last November, Attacker Smoked Cannabis exists to show that cannabis is a prime factor in countless acts of suicide and psychopathic violence, cited as such by numerous judges, coroners, detectives, forensic psychiatrists, barristers, parents, victims and criminals themselves. Simple though it is, it has generated quite a bit of interest, and was cited in the Sunday Times in Scotland (‘Cannabis use linked to brutal teen violence’) and the Daily Express (‘Alesha MacPhail: Murder leads to calls to get tough on cannabis’) following the appalling murder of Alesha MacPhail in Bute. It was more recently cited byMail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens in a piece about the murder of Dr Barry Hounsome (‘This country is slowly being choked to death by the ‘rights’ of wrongdoers and the refusal of authority to protect the innocent’). Quite a few of the many hundreds of stories on my site come from theLiverpool Echo, including those at the source of the dispute I shall presently describe.

Yesterday, I read this article, ‘Drugs, guns and murder – the tragic friendship of Brandon Bilsborough and Connor Hunt’, by Jonathan Humphries, about two teenage friends involved in the murder of Mark Hillman, slashed in the face with a knife by Hunt, then, hours later, lured to a bogus drug deal and shot at close range by Bilsborough, who then fled with the former to Malaga, where the pair spent £4000 in five weeks of debauchery. I found it astonishing that, despite two photos showing Hunt smoking cannabis, with his arm around Bilsborough in one of them, and what seems to me the obvious link between cannabis and psychopathic violence, Mr Humphries did not mention what mind-altering drugs the young men had been taking. After adding the case to the murder category on my site (‘Murder, manslaughter and infanticide’), I tweeted,

‘Drugs, guns and murder – the toxic friendship of Brandon Bilsborough and Connor Hunt’

What drugs might they be? The Liverpool Echo (@LivEchoNews) doesn’t say, despite including this photo, and another like it.

(https://twitter.com/ross_grainger/status/1138517299588214784)

As Echo journalist Jenny Kirkham quickly pointed out, this was factually incorrect, as it says in the third paragraph that the men dealt crack and heroin. I acknowledge this error, and wish I had specified that I am interested in what mind-altering drugs the young men had consumed, as I regard this as a more important factor in their savagery than their ostensible concern about their illicit trade. Nevertheless, the mistake has proved valuable, as it has teased out some questionable opinions about cannabis in the aforementioned writers, most notably in the terrible triple murder committed by Sami Salem.

As I write on my site (‘Cannabis ignored in yet another awful case of paranoid murder and infanticide’), it is quite remarkable that in his reports on Mr Salem’s conviction (‘Dad who suffocated wife and drowned two kids GUILTY of murder’) and sentencing (‘Dad who suffocated wife and drowned kids jailed for minimum 31 years’), Mr Humphries failed to mention cannabis at all, despite the fact that, as noted during the trial, which Mr Humphries reported on, Mr Salem had a caution for possession of cannabis and a knife, that he smoked, by his own admission, 1.5g of cannabis per day, and that his GP believed his cannabis smoking was “the main source of his symptoms.” Instead, Mr Humphries noted all manner of other factors, including that Mr Salem smoked cigarettes and ate food after the murder; and, in a brief Twitter exchange with me, appeared closed to the possibility that Mr Salem’s ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ was the result of his regular consumption of cannabis over a period of at least six years prior to the murder. He was, I should further add, dismissive of my work, describing it as ‘ridiculous’ and a ‘crusade’, and claiming that I don’t understand the term ‘psychopathic’.

I urge you, Mr Humphries, and all your writers to reconsider your perception of cannabis and how you report on it. A very powerful and well-funded movement is at work to legalise the drug in the UK, and benefits whenever the drug is not mentioned in such cases of murder. Cannabis is, I repeat, a prime factor in countless acts of suicide and psychopathic violence. Please bear the following words in mind when reporting on similar cases:

“Those whose minds are steeped in cannabis are capable of quite extraordinary criminality. Your brain has been steeped in cannabis for most of your adult life.”
Judge Anthony Niblett: Cannabis smoking leads to criminality, judge tells arsonist

“This was an appalling attack of extreme and persistent violence. And I have no doubt it would not have happened if you had not consumed cannabis.”
Judge Findlay Baker, QC: Cannabis session led to soldier killing teacher

‘From the limited evidence which was available to the Independent Investigation Team, it appears possible that, if MB had been fully compliant with anti-psychotic medication and had refrained from misuse of cannabis, then he may not have suffered from a relapse of his psychotic illness. In these circumstances, the death of Gemma Simpson might have been prevented.’
NHS England Independent investigation into the care and treatment of MB [Martin Bell], March 2018

“I am for anything that gets the message across to people, particularly young people, that cannabis is very, very dangerous. Joanna started smoking the drug when she was very young and it progressed when she went to university… It was like she was in a vicious circle where the drug would be the only thing to relax her but also worsened her health. Joanna’s death is such a waste. She had her whole life in front of her. She was a beautiful girl and very talented. I don’t think many youngsters understand the extent to which it can affect people.”
Father of Joanna Barton-Harvey: Drugs warning by tragic Joanna’s dad

‘Cannabis has ruined my life.’
Words of a note left by Charles King, 23: Cannabis linked to student’s suicide

“We firmly believe cannabis was the catalyst in a chain of events that ended with Lee’s death. Children who smoke cannabis are playing Russian Roulette with their lives, particularly if they are at risk from suffering mental ill health. The government should be making everyone aware that cannabis is harmful.”
Parents of Lee Wellock: Parents’ blast after cannabis led to son’s death

“We believe that cannabis was a directly-contributing factor towards his death and no one will ever convince me otherwise. He was a perfectly healthy and happy young man until he started to use cannabis. Eventually, it caused his depression and he was smoking it to heal himself. There are a lot of young people out there killing themselves through drug use and more needs to be done to raise awareness. We believe cannabis caused the depression and more should be done to investigate its links with mental illnesses.”
Parents of Stephen Breheny: Family blame drug use for student death

“I hate to think of other families going through the nightmare we endured. We will never recover from this, any of us. Guy may have taken his own life, but it was cannabis that killed him.”
Mother of Guy Summers: ‘Skunk killed my beloved son’

“People think nothing of cannabis nowadays. They just don’t realise this drug can tip you over the edge. A lot of people try it. With the government downgrading it, I think young people assume it is completely harmless. But it can destroy your mind.”
Mother of Laura Bower-McKnight: Mother blames cannabis for suicide of promising violinist daughter

“I don’t subscribe to the view it’s recreational and it’s no big deal to be smoking or selling cannabis. My experience of people I see in this court is that almost without exception they are seriously damaged by the use of cannabis. It certainly leads to mental illness. It is in my judgement a dangerous drug.”
Judge John Boggis, QC, 2007: Judge’s warning on cannabis danger as teenager is jailed

“Time and again we are getting cases where alcohol and cannabis seem to have resulted in violence. They just don’t seem to mix.”
Judge Peter Armstrong, 2008: Concerns over rise in cannabis and alcohol-fuelled violence

“There had recently been discussions by politicians as to whether or not it was a mistake to reclassify cannabis and whether or not it should be reclassified as B rather than C. When considering possible reclassification those whose duty it is to do so may reflect upon the death of Stuart Lester. The use of cannabis can lead to devastating effects. It may be thought that this may not have happened had this young man not used cannabis as a child.”
Coroner Stanley Hooper: Cannabis linked to man’s suicide

“There is a misconception that cannabis is not harmful and clearly this case demonstrates that it is. Heavy use of cannabis can impact on a person’s mental health. Mr Cooper Taylor was an upstanding member of the community who went to help a neighbour. He tragically lost his life and this poor elderly lady has been left physically and mentally scarred.”
Detective Chief Inspector Damian Allain: Cannabis addict jailed for life for stabbing Good Samaritan to death as he tried to protect elderly neighbour

“If you lie down with dogs you are going to get fleas. It is bad news, but the real bad news started when he first got arrested for smoking cannabis. Once he took that path we couldn’t get him off it. And it will happen to hundreds of others his age.”
John Butler: Axe attack father: cannabis ruined my son

“When I see that from the age of 10 you have been taking cannabis on a regular basis and even at 14 you were taking cocaine and ecstasy, any right-thinking person is going to think there has got to be something wrong in our society. It must be every victim’s worst nightmare to awake from a deep sleep and find an intruder armed with a knife. It is truly a picture of horror. You have had such an awful effect on this lady’s life.”
Judge Kerry Macgill: Cannabis-addicted boy aged just 14 raped 58-year-old woman at knifepoint in her home

“As I have already remarked, your case is a cautionary tale for those who think cannabis is a harmless drug. Quite how you managed to persuade yourself that an offence of the gravity of this charge was something you were prepared to do I confess I cannot really begin to imagine. It was a planned robbery and you took a weapon, a screwdriver.”
Judge William Hart: Cannabis addict’s student career wrecked after being jailed for robbing elderly shop assistant

“This was a cruel and cowardly attack on a young man who had done nothing wrong. You showed scarce regard for human life. Your initial motivation was robbery to get money to buy cannabis. In my judgement you got caught up in a frenzy of violence.”
Judge Adele Williams: Teenagers jailed over mugging which left boy in coma

“This was a tragedy waiting to happen. It is true that one of the risk factors for your mental illness is genetic, within the family. The other risk factor is your persistent use of strong cannabis, known as skunk. The more you abused that unlawful drug, the more psychotic you became, to the understandable concern of your family. You had even smoked cannabis before you set out on the day in question and you bear responsibility for the taking of that drug.”
Judge Giles Forrester: Cannabis-smoking father jailed for life after fatal stabbing

“This is a very tragic story. He was an intelligent, likeable young man who went to university, and I suspect it was there that he came into contact with cannabis. Cannabis is a dangerous drug and is harming more and more people. It is as dangerous as hard drugs.”
Coroner Michael Rose: Cannabis warning following A303 death

“It is always worth underscoring this is not a harmless substance. In the hands of a 14-year-old, it’s the starting point of a disastrous sequence of events.”
Coroner Richard Hulett: Cannabis blamed for former Marlow man’s suicide

‘I’m trying to make sure Oskar is happy and safe and while you are addicted to weed and violent and abusive he’s not safe at all.’

‘You throw him around like a toy, suffocate him, stick your finger down his f***ing throat! And he’s always in the middle of our arguments and fights. If you aren’t going to protect your son and be a f***ing dad then I’m leaving.’

‘If you want to be in our lives if you really care about me and our son you would quit. You come home and suffocate our son because you can’t be arsed with him because you want weed.’

Messages from Tia Jobey, 19, to Kane Kennedy, regarding their seven-month-old son Oskar: Killer dad smothered baby son to death in rage ‘triggered by smoking cannabis every day’

“He hopes that if he can get himself off cannabis it will reduce the risk of him reoffending.”
Kelly Shooter, defending Joshua Webster: Derby teen dad Joshua Webster is ‘risking losing everything’ after assaulting woman at her home

“Cannabis f****d him up. He’s smoked it all his life.”
Brother of Joe Xuereb: Pictured: Office worker fighting for life with mother after horrifying hammer attack as family of man, 27, charged say “cannabis messed him up and he was sectioned eight years ago”

“If any case demonstrates the dangers and potentially tragic consequences of cannabis abuse, such as you had taken part in for many years, this is such a case.”
Judge David Hatton, QC: Dad jailed for ‘cannabis-induced’ baby murder attempt

“There is a chronic mental illness. This is exacerbated by very heavy cannabis use. It seems you have been able to continue cannabis use in prison.”
Judge Rosalind Coe QC: DJ jailed for firing shotgun in street just days after he was released from mental health unit

“Striking or throwing a baby against a wall is analogous to using a weapon against a defenceless child. And you knew you would be caring for that child but chose to stay up half the night before abusing cannabis.”
Recorder Anthony Chinn QC: Father jailed for vicious attack on baby son after night spent smoking cannabis 

“At the time of committing the offence the defendant was suffering from a mental disease. It was an acute transient psychotic disorder. I accept, as does Mr Berry, that is was brought about by the use of cannabis in the days leading up to it.”
Defence barrister Alex Daymond: Man launched “ferocious” attack on Hilperton woman while high on cannabis

“You are an adult responsible for your own actions. The problems you face in your life are not their fault. You can’t blame them. You must address the issue of misuse of cannabis.”
Judge Andrew Long: Man who terrorised his own gran and left her with £17,000 debt

“Cannabis took my son from me”.
Mother of Richard Harris: ‘Cannabis made my boy a killer’

“He’d smoked too much cannabis and flipped out. Your Honour will have told many defendants it’s not the harmless drug that many young people think it is. It has deleterious effects … what else could explain his conduct other than he was completely out of it when his cannabis supply was cut off[?]”
James Varley, mitigating: Jail for man who shot girlfriend 13 times with airgun

“Your violent urges were exacerbated, as you knew, by your long-standing use of cannabis. Even if cannabis did not play any direct part in your offending at the time of the attacks, you [sic] smoking of cannabis was one of the triggers for the killings.”
Mrs Justice Carr: Church-going cannabis user who strangled his grandmother and drowned his aunt is jailed for life

Your sincerely,

Ross Grainger

Killer’s chilling promise to victim

Southern Daily Echo | 19 Dec 2002 |

Stephanie Hancock was a teenager at school when she first set eyes on Philip Caswell – but little did she know that his cannabis addiction would eventually kill her.

“IF I can’t have you no-one will.”

That was the chilling promise made to Stephanie Hancock, 22, by her partner Philip Caswell, who yesterday admitted her murder.

She was strangled, battered and stabbed at her Hampshire home. Winchester Crown Court heard how Caswell, 31, was unable to accept their relationship had ended. Days before the murder he told a friend that he would “probably kill her”.

He fulfilled his promise on July 22 by murdering Stephanie as she slept at their home on Pegasus Close, Gosport.

The court also heard how Caswell suffered from a personality disorder because of a long-term dependence on cannabis.

In handing down a sentence of life imprisonment for murder, the judge, Mr Justice Poole, said: “You suffered abnormality of mind associated with cannabis abuse but it was not abnormal enough to impair your responsibility for carrying out the killing.”

STEPHANIE Hancock was a teenager at school when she first set eyes on Philip Caswell – but little did she know that his cannabis addiction would eventually kill her.

At the age of 15, while she was a pupil at Brune Park School, she first set eyes on the then 23-year-old and was smitten.

A year later, in 1994, Stephanie moved with her parents, Caroline and Steve, to Banbury in Oxfordshire – and Caswell followed.

Last year the couple returned to the Hampshire town where they first fell in love and set up home in a housing association flat in Pegasus Close, Gosport.

Neighbours described the pretty 22-year-old as a devoted mother. But all was not well in the couple’s seven-year relationship.

Stephanie confided in close friends she wanted Caswell to leave – but he would not go.

He told her that if he could not have her, no one would.

In the early hours of Monday, July 22, this year he kept to his promise by brutally killing her as she slept. Yesterday, a weeping Caswell, 31, pleaded guilty to murdering the Royal Naval officer’s daughter by strangling and battering her in their bedroom.

It emerged at Winchester Crown Court that Caswell’s cannabis addiction – he had smoked the drug every day since the age of 17 – had worsened his personality disorder.

Anthony Donne QC, prosecuting, said unemployed Caswell was unable to accept that his girlfriend wanted to end the relationship.

On the fateful day, Caswell punched her, smashed her head against the wall and strangled her with a cord.

He then went to the kitchen, got a knife and stabbed her four times in the back.

Mr Donne QC added that Caswell’s mother had described him as “very selfish” with a “foul and violent temper.”

He told the court that evidence showed a history of violence in the relationship.

Towards the end, Stephanie told Caswell she was going to end the relationship, but every time he started crying.

“She woke up and found the defendant looking down on her and snarling ‘I am going to kill you'”, said Mr Donne QC.

“About a week before the death the defendant and a close friend went out together for a bike ride.

“When they stopped the friend realised the defendant was crying and asked what was wrong. Caswell turned to him and said: ‘If I can’t have her no one will.’

“Asked what he meant by that the defendant said: ‘I will probably kill her.'”

A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death was strangulation. Today Caswell is starting a life sentence for the gruesome murder.

Stephanie’s sister Shona Hancock, 20, who lives in Banbury, Oxfordshire, said the family was satisfied with the result of the court case although they realised Caswell could be free in little more than ten years.

Shona said: “We are glad it is all over and Stephanie can now rest in peace.”

Caswell also admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm on a boy who cannot be named for legal reasons. He denied the attempted murder of a girl, who also cannot be named.

Nick Atkinson, mitigating, said Caswell had smoked cannabis almost every day since he was 17.

He said the constant drug abuse had worsened an anti-social personality disorder.

“It continued to maintain him in an unreal cloud of existence,” said Mr Atkinson, who added that Caswell suffered from low self-esteem and poor coping skills.

Sentencing, the judge, Mr Justice Poole said: “She died of strangulation. Your reaction was that you felt relief and felt you had done her a favour. You had not done her a favour.

“You suffered abnormality of mind associated with cannabis abuse but it was not abnormal enough to impair your responsibility for carrying out the killing.”

The judge ordered a not-guilty plea to be entered on the attempted murder charge of the boy.

He said the similar charge against the girl should remain on file.

After the case neighbours spoke of their shock that something so awful could happen in their quiet cul-de-sac.

Telesales operator Greg Heaton, 17, who lived on the top floor of the block of flats had become a close friend with Caswell.

“I can’t believe what happened. I would not expect him to do that to his girlfriend.

“I remember I used to take their shopping in and spend evenings round his flat.

“They seemed to be getting on all right. Stephanie was a nice lady, always smiling. I’m sure she will be missed.”

Cara MacDowall, spokeswoman for the UK’s leading drugs charity Drugscope, said: “While the vast majority of cannabis users use the drug with no long-term detrimental effects it’s important to remember that for some, cannabis can be a harmful drug that can lead to panic attacks, paranoia and confused feelings.”

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/5600053.killers-chilling-promise-to-victim/

“People don’t just kill people in this brutal way without a reason.”

There is, sadly, little that is remarkable about this murder, ‘Radstock stab killer who faked 999 call jailed’: two ostensible friends who have smoked cannabis together for five years; late one evening one suddenly turns on the other, stabbing him 19 times and leaving him for dead in his (the victim’s) home, before hiding his clothes and concocting a series of red herrings in an unsuccessful bid to fool the police.

One thing did strike me, though. In summarising the view of the defence counsel, the judge told the jury, “The defence say that he [the defendant] was not involved in this at all. They say there is no motive for this. People don’t just kill people in this brutal way without a reason.”

There was a time when people indeed did not kill people in this brutal way without a reason. It was the time before cannabis had spread throughout Britain and much of the world like Japanese knotweed. Now, people do kill people in this brutal way without a reason, and will go on doing so.

Grandson jailed for brutal attack on pensioner

Yorkshire Post | 19 Jan 2008 |

She challenged him about smoking cannabis and he responded by putting a chain on the door, turning out the lights and attacking her.

A PENSIONER was chased from room to room by her grandson in the home they shared and beaten so violently her face had to be repaired with metal plates.

Craig Wassell, 29, has been given a minimum jail term of three-and-a-half years but has been warned by a judge that parole officials are unlikely to release him while victim Audrey Downs is still alive.

Mrs Downs, 71, had brought up Wassell from birth and they shared a bungalow at Brinsworth, Rotherham.

She challenged him about smoking cannabis and he responded by putting a chain on the door, turning out the lights and attacking her

Prosecutor James Baird told Sheffield Crown Court: “He grabbed her by the throat, knocked her to the ground and punched her about the face and head.

“The argument spilled into the lounge. She feared for her life and fled into the bedroom. He followed her into the bathroom and repeatedly punched her to the face and top of her head.”

Wassell eventually put her on a settee but then smashed her mobile telephone and television before calling an ambulance. The crew found the kitchen ransacked and splattered with blood.

Mrs Downs spent two weeks in hospital and needed operations to repair fractured eye sockets, cheekbones and jaw.

“Her face is disfigured and she has an impaired sense of smell and taste, with blurring in one eye,” said Mr Baird. “Although she loves him she is in fear of him. The attack has caused enormous emotional stress.”

Wassell has admitted causing grievous bodily harm and Judge Roger Keen imposed a minimum sentence of three-and-a- half years before a parole board can consider his release.

Wassell had claimed his grandmother inflicted the injuries herself because she wanted him out of the bungalow.

In mitigation, his lawyer Simon Reevell said: “It is an incident which arises from difficulties in the relationship between two individuals. It is made worse because the idea of a young man attacking his grandmother is abhorrent to anybody.”

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/latest-news/grandson-jailed-for-brutal-attack-on-pensioner-1-2487621

Husband slashed his pregnant wife because she hid his drugs

Birmingham Mail | 11 Aug 2014 |

A husband slashed his pregnant wife with a Stanley knife and sprayed aftershave in her face because she hid his drugs stash.

Haroon Ashraf attacked wife Neelam at their Bordesley Green home during a row over missing bags of cannabis.

Jurors heard he slashed at the mum, who was nine weeks pregnant, while their one-year-old son was just a few feet away.

She was left with a deep wound to her arm which she’d raised to protect her face.

At Birmingham Crown Court, Ashraf, 24, now of Gilberthorpe Street, Rotherham, had denied charges of wounding with intent and assault by beating.

But a jury of four women and eight men took just one hour and 13 minutes to find the former factory worker guilty following a three-day trial.

They had heard Neelam had hidden the bags of cannabis she found on February 8 because she objected to her husband smoking the drug.

Two days later Ashraf subjected her to a three -hour attack in which he pulled her hair, slapped her, sprayed aftershave in her face and throttled her.

Then, on the morning of February 15, following a night of drinking, he used the knife on his wife of three years after she still refused to hand back the drugs.

Closing the case for the prosecution, Paul Whitfield told the jury: “The consequences could have been permanently disfiguring.

“He approached her and slashed at her.

“If she had not put her arm up she would have looked very different today.”

During the trial it was heard that Neelam and Ashraf had argued over his use of cannabis and his drinking in the run-up to the attack.

Neelam told the court after the knife attack she knew she had to contact police.

Giving evidence, she said: “I was really angry because I never knew he would do something like that. I have my son to think about, anything could have happened that day.”

Ashram had denied the charges, saying Neelam attacked him with a knife and stabbed herself in the arm.

He also denied the assault on February 10.

Ashram was released on bail until September 19 when he was warned by His Honour Judge Murray Creed a custodial sentence was almost inevitable.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/husband-slashed-pregnant-wife-because-7592178

Josh Price murder trial

Express & Star | 24 Nov 2016 |

A 27-year-old father of two stabbed his drug dealer through the heart after voices in his head told him to rob the man, a jury heard…

He said he was relying on a £10-a-day cannabis habit to resolve the mental problems and had been buying drugs from Mr Price for a couple of months before the stabbing which occured [sic] on September 27 2014.

The following month, David Watkins, then 27, was found guilty of the murder of Josh Price, and sentenced to life in prison: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/crime/2016/12/07/josh-price-murder-man-guilty-of-murdering-wolverhampton-father-after-drug-deal-went-wrong/

 

Cannabis ignored in yet another awful case of paranoid murder and infanticide

As soon as I read of the case of Sami Salem, who last year was jailed for murdering his wife and two children in a state of extreme paranoia, I knew there would be cannabis involved, and that I would probably find it mentioned not in the reports of his conviction or sentencing, but in earlier reports in the local newspaper, in this case the Liverpool Echo, of the trial itself. I was right on both counts.

Anyone who browsed the news on or around 20 April last year may have read of Mr Salem’s conviction for suffocating his wife, drowning their two children and attempting to commit suicide at their Liverpool flat on 30 May 2017: the BBC mentioned in its headline that the flat was once inhabited by John Lennon; the Daily Mail also noted the famous flat, and that the ‘schizophrenic’ Mr Salem saw ‘a black entity and tall chimpanzees’; the Daily Mirror quoted Mr Salem’s brother, who said that he had been paranoid “for weeks” before the murders; and the Liverpool Echo reported Mr Salem’s claim that an ‘evil midget’ told him to slaughter his family. None of them, though, cited Mr Salem’s consumption of cannabis, despite the fact that this featured at least 15 times in the trial, including in such statements as, “When he [Salem] was at that health unit he indicated that he drank alcohol and he indicated he used cannabis, and he was told using cannabis could affect how he felt and his mental health”, ‘Salem told him [his GP] he had been smoking one and a half grams of cannabis a day until a couple of days previously, when he attended the Royal Liverpool Hospital to see the crisis team’ and, from GP Dr Oliver Lutte, “I believed Salem’s cannabis intake was the main source of his symptoms.” In addition, it was also noted during the trial that Mr Salem once received a caution for possession of cannabis and a knife.

To be fair to the aforementioned news outlets, they may have been influenced by Dr Mohammad Rahman, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, who when asked during the trial if alcohol or cannabis had any part to play in the murder said, “Not in my opinion”. Then again, they may simply be indifferent to the possibility that there is a link between Mr Salem’s many years of regular cannabis consumption and his act of psychopathic violence, and that this is much more relevant than the fact that the murder took place in the former flat of a famous pop star, who, as it happens, strongly supported the decriminalisation of marijuana and once, with his fellow band members, financed a full-page ad in the Times calling for this to happen.

The account of the trial can be found here: Sami Salem who suffocated wife and drowned kids to be sentenced for murder – updates from court

Teenager who bludgeoned OAP to death claimed he was “scared” of 8 stone victim

Liverpool Echo | 26 Feb 2018 |

Giving evidence for the first time today, he told a jury how he had smoked cannabis since the age of 11 and described himself as sometimes not sleeping for three nights due partly to drug abuse.

On 2 Mar 2018, the defendant, 17, was found guilty of murder. The following month, he was sentenced to life in prison and revealed to be Cameron Cruddace.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/face-teen-who-murdered-oap-14585335

Punishments that don’t deter, part 94

Remember these pitiful punishments, all from south London in March this year, next time somebody tells you there is a ‘war’ on drugs in Britain:

Jamal Musse, 22, of Clay Avenue in Mitcham, was ordered to pay £265 and to forfeit his drugs after he was found with cannabis on Clapham Road on February 23 and for refusing a breathalyser test at Woodgreen Police Station.

Kirk Anthony Reid, 21, of Kimberley Road in Lambeth, was ordered to pay £90 and had to forfeit drugs after he was found with cannabis on Alphabet Mews on February 23.

Joseph Sseruwo, 25, of Peabody Avenue in Pimlico , was ordered to pay £90 and to forfeit drugs after he was found with herbal cannabis on Clapham Road on February 23.

Kadeem Omar Vidal, 24, of Prague Place in Clapham, was ordered to pay £365 and to forfeit drugs after he was found with 633mg of cannabis and six grams of crack on Prague Place on February 24.

Dwayne Russell, 17, Laburnam Road in Mitcham, was ordered to pay £160 and to forfeit drugs after he was found with cannabis on February 23 at the Old Bailey.

Federico Euston Smith, 30, of Oak Avenue in Croydon, was ordered to pay £165 and had to forfeit herbal cannabis he was found with on Lodge Lane in New Addington on February 20 at 3.35pm.

Jaiden Rashaan James, 19, of Selhurst New Road in South Norwood , was ordered to pay £214.99 and forfeit cannabis he was found with on St James New Road on February 21.

Mustafa Aziz, 22, of Donnybrook Road in Streatham, was ordered to pay £315 and to forfeit cannabis and cocaine discovered on him on Tanworth Road in Croydon on February 22 after failing to stop his car when asked to by police on Roman Way.

Winston Weir, 45, of Charlotte Despard Avenue in Wandsworth , was ordered to pay £105, given a year-long conditional discharge and made to forfeit his cannabis after he was found with it in Croydon on February 24.

Emma Jane Miskin, 41, of Edgeworth Road in Eltham, was ordered to pay £470 and made to forfeit her drugs after she was found with a small block of cannabis resin and MDMA at her home on October 10 2018.

Jahnine Chambers, 20, from Greenwich, was given a year-long conditional discharge, ordered to pay £20 and to forfeit her drugs after she was found with one joint of cannabis on a pathway near Slade Green Road on February 2.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-sutton-wandsworth-bromley-bexley-16066201

‘Terrorism’ and cannabis

This seemingly minor case, ‘Discovery of mystery substance at west London property leads to terror arrest of 16-year-old’, in which police officers found cannabis at the flat of a teenager suspected of ‘terrorist’-related activity, is a suitable excuse to discuss the vital issue of ‘terrorism’ and cannabis.

Peter Hitchens has for many years pointed out that in nearly every case of so-called ‘Islamic’ terrorism – London, Woolwich, Westminster Bridge, Manchester, Paris, Charlie Hebdo, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, Tunisia, Boston, Quebec and others – the attacker, or attackers, smoked cannabis. I do not include such cases on this site because, unfortunately, the question of Islam clouds many people’s judgement, but I shall say here that I think the link is as obvious and important as in all other cases of psychopathic violence. I shall further add, though I wish I didn’t have to, that to say I am no apologist for Islam would be an understatement.

Yet another mad, ‘motive-less’ murder in which nobody asks about drugs

Last month a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was found guilty of murdering a stranger in London and sentenced to six years in prison. The case has all the hallmarks – random, unprovoked, savage – of a young mind deranged from smoking cannabis, but, once again, nobody has bothered to investigate (or, if they have, report) whether the boy, aged 16 at the time of the murder, has ever taken mind-altering drugs.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/north-london-news/teenager-jailed-after-stabbing-chingford-16218891

Two cannabis smokers murder young man in London

Here’s a good example of a news outlet failing to mention cannabis in a report of a conviction for murder.

Last month, two men were found guilty of shooting a 22-year-old man named Hashim Ali at point blank range as he was sitting in a car in Hayes. In both its report on the conviction (Hayes murder trial: How jury convicted two friends of shooting Hashim Ali to death) and, a week later, the sentencing (Hashim Ali’s murderers jailed for a minimum of 30 years each over fatal shooting in Hayes), My London failed to mention what it reported in some detail a week prior to the conviction, which is that the two men had smoked cannabis the day of the murder, but were disappointed in the quality (Friends accused of murdering Hashim Ali in Hayes blame each other for shooting him through the heart).

My London is not alone in this. Most news outlets in their reports of the conviction mention only ‘drug dealing’, failing, or refusing, to see that it is the effect of cannabis on the mind, not a desire to control the trade in it, that is a more significant factor in this act of cold-blooded murder. Such selective reporting, sadly, is common.

Young man jailed for possessing 14-inch blade and cannabis

My London | 26 May 2019 |

Mukhtar Mohamed was carrying five bags of cannabis and a 14-inch bladed sword (Image: Met Police)

A stop and search in High Street, West Ealing revealed a man had been carrying a sword with a 14-inch blade tucked into his waistband.

Mukhtar Mohamed had been stopped at around 4.30pm on December 5, 2018 during Met Police ‘s Operation Wolverine, which targets knife crime.

Mohamed, was not only carrying the huge 14-inch blade but also had five snap bags of cannabis.

The 23-year-old from Canham Road, Acton , was taken to Acton Police station, arrested and charged with possession of cannabis and possession of an offensive weapon.

He was bailed to Ealing Magistrates’ Court on New Year’s Eve 2018, where he pleaded not guilty to both offences.

Due to legal discussions, the case was not taken to trial until Monday, May 13 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court where again Mohamed professed his innocence.

However police were able to supply bodycam footage of their stop and search, convincing the court Mohamed was in fact guilty of both charges that same day. He was jailed for six months by magistrates.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/locked-up-london-criminals-who-16332084