Duo dealt drugs to fund home improvement

POLICE busted an Ipswich husband and wife who were allegedly running a drug dealing operation to fund home improvements.John and Shirley Decater's now face a possible jail term after a court heard officers discovered a block of amphetamine in their fridge.

POLICE busted an Ipswich husband and wife who were allegedly running a drug dealing operation to fund home improvements.

John and Shirley Decater's now face a possible jail term after a court heard officers discovered a block of amphetamine in their fridge.

The Decaters took to dealing drugs after deciding they needed to spruce up their Downside Close property.

Now the hapless duo face a jail term after they confessed to their crimes.


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When they appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, 31-year-old Shirley Decater and 39-year-old John Decater both pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of a quantity of amphetamine, a controlled Class B drug, on or between May 1 and June 27 this year.

They both also admitted a charge of being in possession of 219.4 grams of amphetamine with intent to supply on June 27.

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Stood next to his wife in the dock, John Decater also confessed to a further charge of having a prepared needle of amphetamine. When prepared in a needle, amphetamine is upgraded in its classification to a class A drug.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting, told the court: “Police executed a search warrant at the home of Mr and Mrs Decater. They had a variety of items in the premises, a range or paraphernalia.

“In particular there was a block of amphetamine in the fridge. Also found was a syringe filled with amphetamine.

“He (John Decater) indicated it was for his use.”

The court heard that Shirley Decater's role in the operation was to weigh and wrap the drugs while her husband handled the sales side of the business.

Mr Davies said he had a “lengthy list of previous convictions”.

“The motive behind it, according to one of them at least, was they needed money quickly to improve the appearance of their home,” he added.

Roger Thomson, mitigating for John Decater, said that while his client admitted dealing, he was doing so to feed his own drug habit and that half of the drugs found would have been for his own use.

He also said that the period between May and June represented the couple's entire history of dealing.

Mark Holt, mitigating for Shirley Decater, said: “I think she clearly knew she was doing wrong.”

Magistrate Malcolm Hogarth ordered the Decaters be sent before a crown court judge for sentencing because magistrates can only sentence to a maximum of sixth months' jail.

He said: “Our sentencing powers are not sufficient.”

The couple were released on unconditional bail until they face sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court at a date yet to be set.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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