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Ipswich shopkeeper's girlfriend must have been terrified during alleged attack, court told

07 September, 2017 - 07:00
Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A man accused of grabbing hold of the girlfriend of an Ipswich shopkeeper and dragging her up a staircase into an office has admitted the woman must have been "terrified".

Giving evidence during his trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Eduardo Fonseca admitted pinning Sky Jennings down on a staircase at the premises of Cloud Nine in Upper Orwell Street while his co-defendant Marco Maximo was scuffling with her partner Rodney Debenham.

Asked by his barrister Edward Renvoize how Miss Jennings must have felt, Fonseca accepted she must have been terrified.

Fonseca said he had taken Miss Jennings upstairs as she had been “kicking out” while trying to protect her boyfriend and he had thought it better to move her out of the way.

He denied asking Miss Jennings where money was kept at the premises but accepted assaulting her although he wasn’t facing an assault charge.

Fonseca said he had driven Maximo to Ipswich because his co-defendant wanted to confront Mr Debenham about a friend’s daughter becoming unwell after taking Spice, which is synthetic cannabis.

Maximo, 28, and Fonseca, 36, both of Bournemouth, have denied conspiracy to rob Mr Debenham on September 26, 2015.

It has been alleged Maximo entered the shop shortly after 9am and bought cigarette papers before leaving.

He allegedly returned a short time later and went to the back of the shop and grabbed Mr Debenham round the throat with both hands so tightly that he struggled to breathe.

During the alleged incident, which was recorded on CCTV, Mr Debenham heard Miss Jennings scream as Fonseca, who had come into the shop shortly after Maximo, allegedly dragged her up the stairs to an office where he allegedly demanded to know where money was kept.

The alleged 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 defendants later told police they had come to Ipswich to scare Mr Debenham after the daughter of one of Maximo’s friends had become unwell after taking Spice.

The court has heard that Maximo has pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Debenham causing him actual bodily harm.

The trial continues.

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