A FATHER and daughter were both given jail terms when they appeared in court within hours of each other in separate cases.
Alcoholic William Richmond, who turned to cannabis when his wife of 25 years left him and ended up growing the drug, was locked up for a year at Burnley Crown Court.
A couple of hours later, his daughter Elizabeth Richmond was in the dock at the same court, for going on the rampage and smashing the wrist of a neighbour she claimed called her a “paedo” with a piece of wood.
William Richmond had been caught cultivating nine plants in the cellar at his then home in Walton Lane, Nelson, last August, and had been stealing electricity. The defendant was said to want to go to prison as it was the only way he could stop drinking.
Richmond (51), now of Water Street, Accrington, had admitted producing cannabis and abstracting electricity and when Judge Beverley Lunt sent him to prison, he told her: “That’s fine.”
Elizabeth Richmond (22), of Belgrave Street, Nelson, had admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and had been committed for sentence by magistrates. Recorder Howard Bentham gave her 12 months in custody, suspended for a year, with 12 months supervision and 40 hours unpaid work. The judge told her: “Hitting people in the street with a weapon is never acceptable and will always be punished by imprisonment.”
Miss Sarah Statham, prosecuting in the William Richmond case, said the cannabis growing was a relatively sophisticated system, with ducting, lighting and tenting. As well as the plants, police found 12 cuttings from the larger plants and discovered the electricity meter had been bypassed. The defendant, who had no previous convictions for drugs, was arrested and told police he had intended to sell the cannabis to make money.
Mr Mark Stuart, for Richmond, said when police turned up at the home Richmond shared with others with a drugs warrant, he had told officers: “Yes, it’s me. They are all mine. It’s nothing to do with anybody else.”
His wife had left him and he had effectively been drinking himself into an early grave. The defendant had now stopped taking cannabis, but had not been able to stop drinking and was having about three litres of alcohol a day.
Mr Stuart said Richmond would say that staying in a residential detoxification unit was worse then prison. The barrister added: “He thinks the only way he can stop drinking is by being in prison. It’s a very sad state of affairs.”
Prosecuting in the Elizabeth Richmond case, Mr Paul Murphy said she and victim Lisa McNamara used to be friends.
Last July 11th, Miss McNamara was in her garden, supervising young children when the defendant started to rant about an allegation of sexual misconduct and blamed the victim for that.
Mr Murphy said an argument followed in the street and Richmond admitted she had seen red, broken a garden gate, picked up a piece of wood and swung it at Miss McNamara. The victim put up her arm to protect her head and the defendant hit her wrist with the plank. Miss McNamara suffered an undisplaced fracture of the left wrist and had to have a below the elbow plaster cast. The defendant, who had no previous convictions, was arrested and alleged Miss McNamara had called her a “paedo.”
Defending, Miss Laura Barbour said she bitterly regretted the way she behaved and was ashamed. She had lived with Miss McNamara for four years between 2007 and 2011 and gave her all her money to stay there. The victim would, Richmond claimed, say things in the street about her that were not true and had no basis whatsoever.
Miss Barbour continued: “She thinks that all began because the complainant knew she wanted to work with children and it was simply a way to get at her, upset her and cause her embarrassment.
“There are absolutely no such inquiries into the defendant.”