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Brome man questions drug crime benefit

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

A man caught with cannabis which he told police he planned to use in cooking is disputing the financial benefit he gained from his crimes, a court has been told.

Rodney Debenham, 46, of Church Road, Brome, was arrested after police and Trading Standards officers raided the shop he owned and ran.

In January, Debenham was jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty to two offences of possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

He also admitted being in breach of a 12 month prison sentence.

Today (Friday) Debenham returned to the same court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

Prosecuting, Stephen Rose said financial investigators had reached a figure of £132,000 for what it was claimed Debenham had gained from his offending and that he had assets amounting to £8,000.

Danielle O’Donovan, appearing for Debenham, said the benefit figure was being contested and it was hoped that financial records for Debenham’s business would confirm a much lower figure.

In order for those records, which are currently being held by trading standards, to be accessed, Mr Recorder Ian Evans agreed to adjourn the hearing until September 18.

In April last year a raid by police and Trading Standards officers 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.

Five months later in September 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.

The court heard that the cannabis seized totalled 2.35 kg with a value of about £20,000.

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