Drug pusher hit with repair bill

CONVICTED drug dealer Edwin Almond will foot the bill for security work on his abandoned £250,000 farmhouse, it was revealed today.Contractors are to be brought in to board-up the house to stop vandals and squatters getting inside – and the cost will be claimed from Almond, who is currently serving five years in jail.

CONVICTED drug dealer Edwin Almond will foot the bill for security work on his abandoned £250,000 farmhouse, it was revealed today.

Contractors are to be brought in to board-up the house to stop vandals and squatters getting inside - and the cost will be claimed from Almond, who is currently serving five years in jail.

It will be another six weeks before the future of the property, Great Street Farmhouse at Trimley St Mary, is any clearer.

A confiscation hearing opened at Ipswich Crown Court last week to hear an application from the Crown Prosecution Service over the High Road house.

Police believe Almond used drug money to buy it, along with a boat, a Lotus Elise, Jaguar XJR and a Ducati 748 motorbike.

But the case was adjourned until March 12 for the defence to prepare.

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Villagers' main concern is the deteriorating state of the property, a listed building now left open to the elements.

The back door has been open for months, and thieves have stripped dozens of clay pantiles from the roof and stolen building materials. Vandals have smashed the windows with stones.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal said a notice had been served on Almond saying that unless he made the building secure, the council would act and hand him the bill.

The deadline for him to respond had now passed and work should begin soon.

Trimley community police officer Pc Dave Gledhill said officers were keeping a close eye on the property.

He understood that the work to secure the five-bedroom farmhouse would include securing the doors and windows.

The roof will also be secured - but not repaired.

Almond, 32, was found guilty of possessing 2,589 ecstasy tablets, worth nearly £20,000, with intent to supply and receiving stolen vehicles.

He previously served a five-year prison sentence in Jersey for his part in the importation of 1.2 tonnes of cannabis resin in 1997.

During the sentence and shortly after leaving £260,000 was mysteriously paid into his bank account.

Despite this, when he was jailed again in December, he had debts of £318,000 and the court was told had given way to "a weakness for nice things".

Almond and wife Fiona, and their two children aged two and six months, moved into the farmhouse last year after purchasing it from Trinity College, Cambridge.

n What would you like to see happen to Great Street Farmhouse? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street. Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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