Ipswich man jailed for four years

AN IPSWICH blockpaver has been jailed for four years for handling a stolen shotgun and plant machinery and for possessing drugs.

Helen.skene@eveningstar.co.uk

AN IPSWICH blockpaver has been jailed for four years for handling a stolen shotgun and plant machinery and for possessing drugs.

Police arrested Stuart Singleton, of Macaulay Road, after they searched Akenham Hall Farm on April 4.

Hidden under a cargo container was 41.1 grams of white MDMA powder used to make ecstasy tablets. Police said the powder was 71 per cent pure and could have been used to make up to 500 tablets.

They also discovered 1,240 grams of cannabis resin in five nine-ounce bars and a smaller amount of resin weighing 56.8 grams.

A stolen 12 bore shotgun and two live cartridges and more than £4,000 of stolen machinery were also found in Singleton's possession.

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The 42-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing the drugs but was found guilty of handling stolen property.

Chris Paxton, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said: "He accepted that the powder was his, but he believed it was amphetamine and said he bought it to help him loose weight.

"He said he had purchased the cannabis resin to help ease a hereditary back complaint. He said he found the gun in a skip."

The court heard that Singleton had four previous convictions for dishonesty and had been cautioned in the past for possessing cannabis.

Simon Spence, mitigating, said it was the first time in his many years as a barrister that he had come across MDMA as a powder rather than tablets.

Mr Spence added: "He thought it was amphetamine, so for the purposes of sentencing please accept he believed it to be a class B drug rather than class A."

He said his client had been out of trouble with the law for 13 years and that he was a hard working family man.

Judge John Holt said the shotgun had been stolen from a house not far from Singleton's blockpaving yard, just days before it was found in Singleton's possession.

He added that the gun was padlocked in its' owners' attic and the burglar had managed to find the key to the padlock and the live ammunition, which were all hidden separately in the house.

Judge Holt added that the stolen plant equipment were "items of significant value".

"You knew they were stolen and you used them for profit in your own business.

He said: "The amount of drugs found indicate a degree of sophistication and you knew how to purchase them in bulk supplies."

Singleton was jailed for two and a half years for handling the stolen gun, 12 months for handling the stolen machinery and six months for possessing the drugs.

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