Drugs stash hidden in champagne box found in dealers’ room at Ipswich hotel

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Three London drug dealers – including a former Spurs soccer starlet – who came to Ipswich for the Christmas trade have been jailed for a total of 13-and-a-half years.

Thomas Mensah

Thomas Mensah - Credit: Archant

Thomas Mensah, 21, and Jerry Asiamah, 20, both of North London, and George Phillips, 22, of Romford, were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court.

The trio had admitted possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply after police found a stash of drugs in a champagne box in their Ipswich hotel room.

At their sentencing, Mensah received a total of eight years in jail for the offence in Ipswich, and other drug offences in Andover and Cambridge.

George Phillips

George Phillips - Credit: Archant

Phillips – who played football for Spurs’ under 15, 16 and 17 teams, until a knee injury curtailed his fledgling career – was imprisoned for three years. He is already serving a 30-month jail term for being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs after being arrested with Mensah in Cambridge

Asiamah, was given a two-and-a-half year jail term for his part in the Ipswich offence. He had just been released from prison halfway through a 28-month sentence he was given for a drugs’ conviction in Cambridge.

Prosecutor Brian Reece said police saw Mensah dealing drugs at 11.45pm on December 22 in the area of the Sir Bobby Robson Bridge between West End Road and Compair Crescent.

Jerry Asiamah

Jerry Asiamah - Credit: Archant

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Mensah had travelled to Ipswich with others “to meet the local Christmas demand”, Mr Reece said.

They stayed overnight in a room at the Penta Hotel in Ranelagh Road, which they used as their base.

At 7.30am the following day police went to the room where they found Mensah and Phillips.

Cash and mobiles containing texts relating to drug dealing were found.

Asiamah was also in the room. It was said his role had been to stay there, prepare the wraps for sale, and to protect the stash and cash.

Fergus Malone, representing Phillips, said his client had a chance of a career in professional football during his teens playing for various Spurs’ age group sides. However, a recurring knee injury put paid to his hopes. Shortly afterwards he got involved in drugs. Mr Malone said: “He has been a Class A drug user effectively ever since.”

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