£5K spent prosecuting man over cannabis worth less than £2

Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi
A British man has been prosecuted for possessing marijuana worth £1.59, with prosecution costs soaring to £5,000. The Isle of Man authorities’ decision to conduct the proceedings has been called ‘ludicrous’.

A builder from the Isle of Man, Martin Kewley ended up in court after police discovered a small amount of cannabis in his bedside drawer, the Daily Mail reported.

Then, choosing not to caution Kewley, police and prosecutors opted to take his case to Douglas Magistrates' Court.

Kewley pleaded guilty to possessing the drugs, and was sentenced to six-month’s probation. His attorney told the prosecution that Kewley was in difficult circumstances.

The decision to prosecute, despite the amount of cannabis being so minuscule, came under fire from drugs charity Release, which called the case ‘ludicrous’ and slammed the authorities for spending so much.

However, the local authorities defended their step and cannot be brought to account, as the Isle of Man runs its own jurisdiction as a self-governing British Crown dependency.