A gran gave schoolchildren drugs from her own stash to make cannabis ‘cakes’.
The youngsters, one aged just 13, were allowed to bake chocolate brownies laced with the Class B substance in Iris Thornton’s Dennyloanhead home.
She also allowed them to smoke the drug, which a court heard she used for pain relief from backache.
The offence only came to light when police were investigating another incident of a pupil at Denny High School possessing cannabis.
Thornton (55) was told her actions were “deplorable” by a sheriff, who said he had come close to sending her to jail.
However, she escaped with a community payback order where she must complete unpaid work when she appeared for sentencing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday.
Sheriff William Gallacher said Thornton had risked the health of the five young people involved, who she had responsibility for when they were in her home at 18 Loanhead Avenue on October 21 last year.
She also admitted possession of the drug.
Youngsters were given a polythene wrap of herbal cannabis to bake drug-laced cakes.
The schoolchildren, one aged 13, two 14-year-olds and two 15-year-olds, were in Iris Thornton’s Dennyloanhead home on October 21 last year, Falkirk Sheriff Court was told.
Alison Montgomery, procurator fiscal depute, said: “The accused asked them if they wanted to bake brownies and gave them money to buy the cake mix. When they returned from the shop she gave them a wrap of herbal cannabis to mix in.”
Once baked, the chocolate brownies were dished out to the youngsters and Thornton, she added.
Defence solicitor Neil Hay said: “The children were not coerced but as a responsible adult she knows that she shouldn’t have allowed this while they were in her care.”
Sentencing Thornton, who is also known as Iris Martin, to 250 hours of unpaid work in the community, Sheriff William Gallacher said: “If you had been involved in behaviour of this kind before I would have sent you to prison.
“This is a case of the utmost gravity.
“Your behaviour was deplorable.
“Research has shown cannabis use by young people can have a long-lasting impact on their health.”