Wednesday 13 December 2017

No case against Nigella for drug use

British television chef Nigella Lawson arrives at Isleworth Crown Court
British television chef Nigella Lawson arrives at Isleworth Crown Court

Tom Whitehead in London

Nigella Lawson will not be prosecuted after she admitted in court to taking cocaine and cannabis, Scotland Yard has said.

The celebrity chef made her admissions when giving evidence during the fraud trial of her two former assistants last year.

Police investigated the claims after first suggesting that it would not. Now the force has concluded no further action is required.

Officers said they feared a prosecution would deter witnesses or victims of crime from coming forward in future cases if they thought they could be charged with offences for telling the truth.

But anti-drug campaigners and MPs said the decision sent a message that some forms of drug taking, especially by high-profile individuals, was condoned.

Robert Buckland, a Conservative MP and barrister, who is a former member of the Commons justice committee, said: "We do not want to discourage people from coming forward to give evidence but consistency in application of the law is very important.

"People of other social and economic backgrounds will often get prosecuted for this behaviour.

"We all need to ask ourselves, why is it we have this very middle-class view about drug-taking whereas the reality for many families is drug-taking is a real blight on lives and causes misery?"

Ms Lawson, a mother of two, confessed that she took cocaine with her late husband John Diamond when he found out he had terminal cancer, and in July 2010 when she claimed she was being "subjected to intimate terrorism" by her former husband Charles Saatchi.

During the trial of Elisabetta and Franscesca Grillo in December, Ms Lawson dismissed suggestions that she was a habitual user.

Mr Saatchi blamed her drug use for the amount of money spent by the Grillo sisters.

Ms Lawson declined to comment on the decision. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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