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Youth worker 'advised client to smoke cannabis'

Teen was told that taking drug would 'keep him calm'

A MENTAL health services youth worker advised a troubled teenager that smoking cannabis would be good for him, a court heard.

The astonishing claim was made by a solicitor defending the youth, who is now aged 19, on drugs charges.

Cameron O’Sullivan, of Fishers Lane, Cold Ash, was caught with cannabis and the mind-bending drug ketamine.

But his solicitor insisted that his client was only following the advice of his local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) key worker in smoking the Class B controlled drug, cannabis.

Sarah McKay, prosecuting, told Reading magistrates on Thursday, April 20, how police raided a garage following a tip-off from a member of the public and caught Mr O’Sullivan red-handed.

She added: “Voices could be heard coming from the garage, plus a strong smell of cannabis. Three males were inside and there was drug paraphernalia on the table; a ‘deal’ bag of white powder was found in the defendant’s coat.”

Ms McKay went on: “Fourteen individual deal bags of cannabis were found in the defendant’s underwear. Officers checked the police car in which he had been transported to Newbury police station and found two more deal bags of cannabis.”

Mr O’Sullivan’s home – then in Station Road, Thatcham – was searched and more cannabis was found, the court heard.

Mr O’Sullivan admitted possessing an ounce of cannabis plus a quantity of the Class B controlled drug, ketamine, both on March 30.

He also has previous convictions.

Simon Hammudi, defending, said his client suffered from Asperger Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

He added: “He said his key worker for West Berkshire CAMHS had told him to smoke cannabis to keep him calm.

“I advised him that it was illegal, but he said he had papers to prove that he had been told to smoke cannabis by his key worker.”

This had been when Mr O’Sullivan was still under the age of 18, the court heard.

Mr O’Sullivan has since found work as a landscape gardener, magistrates were told.

He was made subject to an 18-month conditional discharge, ordered to pay £85 costs plus a statutory victim surcharge of £20.

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Article comments

  • NewburyDenizen

    10/05/2017 - 12:12

    Smoking Cannabis does calm one down, it's helped me for over a decade with existing anxiety and mental issues with no addiction (proven by going months without due to spotty supply) and no other side effects. The fact that the plant was legal until only a number of decades ago, which can be traced back to the tobacco industry getting chummy with the gov, suddenly, a plant that's been used throughout human history as a recreational and medicinal plant is demonized.


  • Louise


    10/05/2017 - 12:12

    Perhaps he wants to work with horses! ADHD convenient cop out for anti social behaviour.


  • sayitasitis

    10/05/2017 - 08:08

    Smoking cannabis isn't the same as dealing and being in possession of ketamin - great solicitor!!