Ipswich Cloud Nine shopkeeper targeted after substance made niece ‘unwell’, court told

Cloud Nine in Upper Orwell Street. Picture: EDMUND CROSTHWAITE

Cloud Nine in Upper Orwell Street. Picture: EDMUND CROSTHWAITE - Credit: Archant

Two would-be robbers travelled 200 miles to Ipswich to give an Upper Orwell Street shopkeeper a “telling off”, a court heard.

Marco Maximo, 28, of Wellington Road, Bournemouth, and Eduardo Fonseca, 36, of Bradley Road, Bournemouth, deny attempted robbery and affray at Cloud Nine in Upper Orwell Street in Ipswich on September 26, 2015.

On the first day of their Ipswich Crown Court trial prosecutor Wayne Cleaver said: “In (police) interview it was claimed Mr Maximo’s niece had purchased an illegal substance from Rodney Debenham and it had made her very unwell, so they went to Ipswich to give him a bit of a telling off and to tell him not to sell such items to young people in the future. That was the purpose of their visit.

“It was only to ensure psychotic substances - I suppose you would call them - were not sold again.

“They deny there had been any demand for money.”

The court heard Maximo’s niece bought the substance nine months earlier.

Maximo had gone into the shop wearing dark glasses and bought some Rizla cigarette papers before leaving. The prosecution say he did it as a “recce” before returning a short time later.

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Maximo then went into a room behind the counter and grabbed Mr Debenham around the neck. There was a struggle in which glass in a display cabinet was smashed.

Maximo is said to have produced a roll of duct tape such was his control over Mr Debenham.

Mr Cleaver said: “He was able to pretty easily overpower him. Having produced this roll of duct tape he attempted to unroll it.”

It is alleged the tape was either to go over Mr Debenham’s mouth or to bind his wrists together.

Fonseca, who was also wearing dark glasses, is said to have gone into the shop and grabbed Sky Jennings – Mr Debenham’s partner – by the throat and took her upstairs. While doing so it is alleged he pinned her to the floor on the stairs and asked her where the money was. Fonseca then dragged her into a room and started going through the office drawers, the jury heard.

The incident ended when a customer came in and Mr Debenham called out to him to ring the police. Maximo and Fonseca left empty-handed. The trial continues.