A CANCER victim aged 75 has been jailed for drugs smuggling.

Henry Hearn claimed the cannabis he was trying to bring through the Channel Tunnel was to ease his suffering after undergoing chemotherapy.

He was jailed for nine months despite his solicitor arguing it would be a death sentence.

Hearn, of Oakleigh Park, Leigh, was picked up at Coquelles, France, tring to enter the Channel Tunnel with a package of cannabis in his car. The drugs had a street value of £14,000. He admitted the offence.

Alex Scott Phillips, defending at Canterbury Crown Court, said a group of cancer sufferers clubbed together to buy the drugs in Holland.

He said: "My client is not a well man. He was using the cannabis for medicinal purposes.”

"It was his turn to collect the cannabis for a group of people who had all been receiving chemotherapy.”

He added: “Any custodial sentence would be a death sentence for him."

But the court heard Hearn had several convictions for drug smuggling and supply and theft, going back to the 1960s.

Judge Adele Williams said: "This was a deliberate piece of smuggling. I do take account of your age and your ill-health in passing as light a sentence as I can."