A magistrate has exercised her discretion over sentencing a mother and son duo due to an "unusual set of circumstances" surrounding drug charges.
Facing Griffith Local Court on Wednesday, the pair were co-accused in relation to buying and supplying cannabis after been seen by police officers during surveillance in late January this year.
Deborah Litchfield, 52, was convicted of possessing a prohibited drug after giving her son, 18-year-old Ned Apps, money to purchase cannabis for what she claimed was self-medicating reasons.
Apps, in what the magistrate called was a 'rare' case, was not convicted of supplying the drugs.
Police witnessed Apps go into a "known drug house" at around 5.20pm and return a short time later on January 26. During inquiries, Litchfield admitted to having illicit substances in the car when asked by police, and produced a clear zip lock bag with cannabis.
Subsequent measuring at Griffith Police Station weighed the amount at 29.8 grams.
Litchfield made a "full and frank" admission to the possession and purchase of the drugs, saying she gave her son $350 to go inside and buy them while she remained in the car, which Apps confirmed.
Their legal representative Piers Blomfield explained Litchfield had been examined by a doctor who had detailed back pain issues with depression. Litchfield claimed she was using the cannabis to self medicate.
He argued she found getting medicinal cannabis lawfully was "too expensive" given she was not currently working and received no government benefits.
Being without a criminal record as well as being "of some age", he submitted he did not think a conviction was the best outcome, despite the maximum penalty for possession of that amount being two years imprisonment.
Taking into account these arguments and subjective circumstances, Magistrate Joy Bolous said "she had to" record a conviction for Litchfield because she still committed an offense.
In relation to Apps, Magistrate Bolous said this was a "very unusual" set of circumstances and outlined how rare it was for these offenses not to be dealt a conviction.
She decided to exercise her discretion with Apps given his age, lack of "adverse history" and considering his belief that he was assisting his mother.
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