Drugs den misery comes to an end

YEARS of hell have come to an end today for residents living near to a Suffolk crack house.Police have finally boarded up the disgusting hovel in Wellington Court, Ipswich where John Muttitt has lived for the last six years, causing misery to those around him.

YEARS of hell have come to an end today for residents living near to a Suffolk crack house.

Police have finally boarded up the disgusting hovel in Wellington Court, Ipswich where John Muttitt has lived for the last six years, causing misery to those around him.

One woman found an unconscious drug user on her doorstep with a needle still in her arm, another resident was offered sex for money and children could not play on the communal lawn because it was littered with needles and broken bottles.

A policewoman who searched the flat said it was the worst she had ever seen and the premises was deemed to be too dangerous to carry on with the search.

But Muttitt, who did not appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich to oppose the closure order told police and flat owners Ipswich Borough Council that he was powerless to stop taking Class A drugs or to prevent people visiting him.

Everyday problems for nearby residents included noise, people visiting throughout the day and night, drug paraphernalia, human excreta as well as rowing, foul language and people clambering through windows.

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South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard that when officers searched Muttitt's flat drug paraphernalia was found in every room.

Police officer Becky Last said there were spoons, used to heat heroin before it is injected, with heroin residue still on them. She also found foil topped plastic bottles known as “bongs” which are used to smoke crack cocaine.

Miss Last said: “There were between 50 to 70 needles in the flat, some capped and some not. The premises was deemed to be too dangerous to carry on with the search.”

Pc Craig Stock said when he searched the flat on another occasion he opened the wardrobe door and all sorts of things fell out including some used needles with dried remains in them which could have been blood.

Pc Stock said that during the half hour he was at the flat at least six people knocked on the door asking for Muttitt.

He added: “Several people also knocked on the windows and one seemed quite shocked when the door was opened by police. They left very quickly.”

Police inspector Bruce Robinson said that on October 12 Muttitt was taken to hospital suffering a suspected drug overdose and was accompanied by someone who lived at the flat and was well known to police for drug usage and dealing.

Claudine Airey, prosecuting, told Magistrates that with this information they could issue a closure order on the flat because they could find that it was used for taking and supplying class A drugs and was causing a nuisance to the public.

Magistrates said the need to protect the public outweighed the human rights of Muttitt and a closure order was made for three months. The order can be extended to six months.

Muttitt, who was expected to contest the order, did not appear at court.

n. Four people are due in South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court today for breaching the closure notice at Wellington Court.

Matthew Brown, 33, of Bartholomew Street, Ipswich, Michael Smith, 34, of London Road, Ipswich, Louise Heath, 27, of Aldercroft Close, Ipswich, and Terrie Frost, 24, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, were charged on Thursday .

SUFFOLK police today praised the role the community played in helping to close the Wellington Court crack house.

Inspector Bruce Robinson said: “This all came about because we got intelligence from the community about disorder and drug dealing and usage around the premises. That's when we went to the courts for an order.

“It's working together with the community and partners at Ipswich Borough Council which has led to this closure.

“It's not an easy process and we rely on the contribution of the community to provide us with statements.

“There's been a significant amount of anti-social behaviour and serious nuisances from this flat.

“The occupant and his associates have been arrested on numerous occasions for drug-related activity.

“It's clear life has been unpleasant for residents here and we are sending a clear message to people to behave in their communities or risk losing the roof over their head.”

Ernest Hagan, Ipswich Borough Council's anti social behaviour officer, said the council operated a “zero tolerance policy” towards drugs and would be taking enforcement action against Muttitt.

N Residents can report anti-social behaviour on the Ipswich anti-social behaviour hotline, on 0800 138 6570.

RESIDENTS who have spent months living next to the crack house today described the problems on their doorsteps.

A 62-year-old woman who has lived in a neighbouring flat for 13 years said: “There was always lots of noise and coming and going from the flat. The front door to the building would get jammed open so anyone could come in.

“I didn't mind that so much as I was behind my own door.

“But one day I found excrement and wee under the stairs right outside my flat and after it was cleaned up by the council I had to disinfect it. It was disgusting and I don't want to live near that.

“It's good news they are getting rid of the problem as the police said there was drug dealing going on.”

A 25-year-old man who has lived nearby for three years said: “I always heard them at night.

“people were always coming and going, slamming and kicking on doors and shouting they wanted drugs.

“I'm very happy it's now been closed.”