Drug dealer assaulted girlfriend and three passers-by on night out

Carl Harris

Carl Harris was jailed for 22 months at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A drug dealer who assaulted his girlfriend and three strangers celebrating the new year in Ipswich has been jailed for almost two years. 

Carl Harris appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for three assaults, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, being concerned in the supply of cannabis, possession of cannabis and drug driving.

The 32-year-old launched an unprovoked attack on another man in St Peter's Street in the early hours of New Year's Day last year.

Prosecutor Hugh Vass said Harris drunkenly punched the man to the back of the head and bit him on the chin, causing an injury requiring nine stitches and a precautionary hepatitis jab.

He was then seen to lash out at his partner, who had attempted to intervene in the altercation, before throwing a punch at another man and landing a punch to the right ear of a third, whose phone he also damaged during an ensuing scuffle.

Four months later, on May 7, Harris was pulled over on a Suzuki motorbike in Woodbridge Road and found in possession of 24.2 grammes of cannabis, weighing scales, £1,005 cash and a mobile phone containing messages offering drugs for sale.

A positive roadside saliva test led to a subsequent evidential sample finding that Harris had been riding with seven microgrammes of cannabis derivative Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in his blood – the legal limit being 2mcg.

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Harris, of Landseer Road, Ipswich, was then caught in possession of a smaller quantity of cannabis on September 27.

Claire Matthews, mitigating, said Harris simply could not explain his conduct and had little recollection of the "particularly ugly piece of street violence" on New Year's Day.

"He doesn't seek to minimise that behaviour," she added. 

"He is extremely sorry for the effect it had on those individuals."

Miss Matthews said Harris had been dealing cannabis to pay off debts incurred through his own heavy consumption of the drug. 

She said Harris had kicked the habit during the last four-and-a-half months spent in custody awaiting sentence.

"The fact that he is now clear of drugs means that his thought processes are very different to when he committed this group of offences," she added.

Recorder Graham Huston sentenced Harris to a total of 22 months' custody and banned him from driving for 18 months.