Man who admits assaulting shop owner denies he went to Cloud Nine in Ipswich to steal from him

Cloud Nine in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

Cloud Nine in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A man who has admitted assaulting an Ipswich shopkeeper has denied going to the premises to steal from him.

Giving evidence during his trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Marco Maximo said he had gone to Cloud Nine, in Upper Orwell Street, after being told that a friend’s daughter had become unwell after taking Spice - synthetic cannabis - she had allegedly bought from the shop.

He said he had hoped to sort things out with the shop owner, Rodney Debenham, but had become angry after Mr Debenham told him to get out of the shop and threatened to attack him with a baseball bat when he confronted him about selling Spice.

He claimed he had “taken the first action” because he thought Mr Debenham was going to attack him.

He admitted assaulting Mr Debenham by kicking him a couple of times and throwing a couple of punches, but denied going to the shop to steal money.

He denied taking a roll of duct tape to the shop and said he did not remember picking up a roll of tape in the shop.

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

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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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