A man caught with thousands of pounds worth of cannabis who told police that he planned to use some of it in cooking has been jailed.
Rodney Debenham, 46, of Church Road, Brome, was arrested after police and Trading Standards officers raided the shop he owned and ran.
The raid on April 15 last year uncovered bags of cannabis in the bedroom and kitchen of a flat adjoining the shop which was also used by Debenham.
Debenham told police that he and three other people had paid £6,000 for the drug which was to be divided between them. His share had been destined to be turned into cannabis resin for use in cooking, said Debenham.
Prosecuting, Godfried Duah said that five months later on September 24 police with a search warrant again visited the shop called New Dawn in Eagle Street, Ipswich and recovered more bags of cannabis from an outbuilding. Some of the bags were labelled with Debenham’s name. Mr Duah said the shop sold “research chemicals and drug paraphernalia” and the first search of the premises had revealed so-called “legal highs” which did not form part of the prosecution.
The court heard that the cannabis seized totalled 2.35 kg with a value of about £20,000.
Debenham had pleaded guilty to two offences of possession of cannabis with intent to supply.
He also admitted being in breach of a 12 month prison sentence imposed in June 2012 for an offence of production of cannabis.
Defending, Jude Durr said: “He accepts that he and a small group of friends pooled their resources to buy cannabis.”
Mr Durr said that Debenham denied that he had been using the shop as a cover when acquiring the drug, all of which had been found in the living area and none in the commercial premises. Not all of the cannabis belonged to Debenham.
Sentencing him to a total of 12 months imprisonment, Mr Recorder David Pugh told Debenham that immediate custody was the only realistic option open to him.