Photographs of 52-year-old Karen Thomson adorned cans of Tennent’s lager and billboards in Scotland from 1988 to 1991 – she was a Lager Lovely (pictured here now and in her heyday). Now, however, this Lager Lovely is known for having been caught with nigh on £12,500 of cannabis in her luxury basement flat, which is beneath that of one-time Celtic manager Neil Lennon, in Downhill, in the west end of Glasgow.
In May 2013, the filth were called anonymously with a report that a burglary was in progress at Thomson’s flat and again with a complaint of cannabis plants on display in a window. When they went to investigate, they came upon a room containing 52 plants valued at £12,400 in three growing tents, accompanied by scales, thermometers, heavy-duty lighting, a ventilation system and plastic baggies featuring a cannabis motif. Thomson was absent.
Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Thomson, transformed from a Lager Lovely to a successful landscape gardener, initially used cannabis for pain relief following a serious accident. She grew the EVIL DRUG herself and then supplied it to her pals, but later opened herself up to outsiders. She admitted to the supply of cannabis from October 2012 to May 2013. Her sons, Joshua, 19, and Jefferson, 22, pled not guilty, which was accepted. They had been produced during her 15-year marriage to a property tycoon.
A source close to the case remarked that Thomson had committed “a huge error of judgement” of which she was well aware. What had begun with friends had “spiralled out of control,” but now she was facing the consequences and not making any excuses.
Thomson’s barrister, Gordon Williams, spoke of her knowledge of horticulture, which granted her the skills necessary for her little adventure. At first, she dealt only with friends but became “more successful than she ever hoped.” The beak, Daniel Scullion, requested background reports, putting her out on bail and declaring that custody was an option, but eventually let her off with 300 hours of unpaid toil and a 100-day curfew, having remarked that her venture, while big enough to be termed a “cannabis factory” by newspapers, was unworthy of being described as “a full-scale commercial operation.” That was in July 2015, and she has now been landed with with an £8,500 fine under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Scullion described her as “an intelligent woman” who must have been aware of what she was doing. Her silk declared, “She knows this has brought SHAME on her and her family,” adding, “She wishes to put this behind her.”
The Lager Lovely campaign lasted from 1962 to 1991, and the cans are now highly-regarded by collectors.