WA grandmother spared jail for growing cannabis 'to help' mentally ill son

Yahoo7 and AAP

A former Perth nurse who grew cannabis to help treat her mentally ill son has been spared a prison sentence.

Police found 19 cannabis plants in Miriam Anna Down's garden and 1.42 kilograms of marijuana leaf in her home, the West Australian District Court heard on Tuesday.

The 75-year-old had told the court she couldn't afford to buy the marijuana anymore and conceded desperation drove her to grow it in her backyard.

Miriam Down and her son. Source: 7 News

"It's like throwing water over fire, you know. If your house is being smashed and the windows are being smashed and food everywhere, well you know, you got to put the fire out," she said.

"I hate drug traffickers."

Ms Down said she used the cannabis to treat her 42-year-old son George, who has a mental illness.

Police seized 19 cannabis plants. Source: 7 News

She was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for 10 months, with the judge noting there was no commercial gain involved in the crime.

While Ms Down escaped being declared a drug trafficker, she still risks losing her Bayswater home as prosecutors decide whether it should be seized because it was used to commit a crime.

Down's tenant, 53-year-old Judith Esme Robinson, was charged with assisting in the crime and was handed a 10-month intensive supervision order.

Ms Down and her son. Source: 7 News