After drinking at a local pub, this ex-teacher did the unthinkable and nonchalantly handed over cannabis-infused cookies to four young children. While she might have realized the harm she was causing at the time, she certainly did after. The children became sick and had to be taken to the hospital, only to find out they’d been given a laced treat. They would be fine in a few hours, once the cannabis ran its course, but for the ex-teacher, her troubles were just beginning.
Lesley Collins, 61, sat in a local pub in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. A famed painter and former teacher, Collins also wore the hat of beloved mother and grandmother. When four children ranging in age from 12 to 13 walked into the pub to use the restroom, Collins struck up a conversation with them.
Collins told the two boys and two girls that she was their Nana, before reaching into her knitted bag and pulling out a cookie for each member of the group. As the children ate their treat, they began to notice something was off about the snack.
One girl said it tasted both sweet and disgusting. It wasn’t long before the other young girl started complaining about feeling sick when Collins realized she had passed out cannabis-infused sweets to the children.
The children approached a local police officer to recount what had happened and seek help. One girl was quickly taken to the hospital after eating half the cookie, complaining of dizziness and general sick feelings. Once tested, one of the boys showed traces of cannabis in his urine.
The police paid a visit to Collins where they confiscated an entire tray of cookies and a small amount of cannabis. Collins, who was affectingly nicknamed “The Cookie Lady,” was known for having the laced treats on a regular basis. The thought that she would supply them to anyone, let alone children, was a shock to everyone involved.
During her court hearing at the Grimsby Crown Court, Collins explained that she was unaware of what she’d done at the time and that it was a complete accident.
It’s despicable. I didn’t know I had done it. I was drunk.
To further the point of her discontent with the situation, the mitigation, Nick Worsley, brought up Collins’ troubles with depression and other mental health issues, as well as the consequences she’d already suffered from the unfortunate event.
He made it clear that handing out laced treats to children is completely out of character for Collins and a total accident.
Her career is destroyed. She is a mother and a grandmother. This is nothing that she would consciously do. She is devastated by what she has done. She is very concerned for the children who were involved in this.
It was an isolated and reckless event. She apologizes to those who have been affected – the children and their families.
Before sentencing, Judge David Tremberg explained sternly to Collins how serious the situation was, but also sympathized with her circumstances.
This was seriously irresponsible and abnormal behavior. If you had not been so intoxicated, you would not have dreamed of doing this.
Mercifully, none of them were seriously harmed. You cannot possibly have known what effect giving children of this age cannabis biscuits might have had on them. In their disoriented state, they might have been run over.
Your behavior was grossly irresponsible. You were drunkenly oblivious to the risk you posed to them.
Collins received a six-month suspended jail sentence and ten days of rehabilitation. Luckily, she never had to face the inside for a prison for her serious lack of judgment.