Men jailed after police swoop

TWO men are today behind bars as they were among 15 people to appear before magistrates on drug and handling stolen goods charges.

TWO men are today behind bars as they were among 15 people to appear before magistrates on drug and handling stolen goods charges.

Seven people pleaded guilty to various charges in a specially designated court in South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday after being caught during raids in Ipswich carried out by 250 police officers on Tuesday which targeted drug dealers and suspected thieves. The other eight who appeared in court in Ipswich have not yet entered pleas.

Among those who admitted their offences was Lewis Knock, 18, of Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, who was charged with three counts of handling stolen goods.

It was heard that on January 20 this year Knock went into a shop which had been set up and was being run by undercover police. Together with a friend he sold two stolen satellite navigation systems and a stolen digital camera for �50. He was arrested at his home as part of the raid on Tuesday.

John Hughes, mitigating, said: “It was one occasion that he went into the shop in the company of another and between them, they sold the goods. This was not a professional operation by him at all. It was opportunistic.”

Due to a breach of a previous court order, magistrates sentenced him to six weeks in custody on each offence to run consecutively, totalling 18 weeks in a young offenders' institute.

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Daniel Stainton, 36, of Partridge Road, Ipswich, admitted two charges of handling stolen goods following a couple of transactions in the 'police' shop in February.

Mitigating, Ian Duckworth said Stainton had had a drug problem for several years but is now tackling those issues.

Chairman of the magistrates bench Anne Walker sentenced him to six weeks in custody for each offence to run consecutively. He was also sentenced to an additional week in prison for breaching a conditional discharge.

Other defendants are still awaiting their fate. Francis Mills, 32, of Fore Street, pleaded guilty to nine counts of supplying heroin between March and April.

Mitigating Mark Holt explained that he had only been supplying drugs for a couple of months because he needed the money. He was caught supplying drugs to an undercover police officer as part of a sting.

Mr Holt said: “He has never been addicted to drugs. He lost his job and this led to loss of accommodation.”

Mills was remanded in custody until his appearance at Ipswich Crown Court at a date to be fixed.

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Lewis Knock's brother Aaron Knock, 19, of Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to three offences of handling stolen goods between September 2008 and January 2009. He was remanded in custody until his appearance at South East Suffolk Magistrates' court on June 11.

Warren Rose, 22, of Poppy Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of handling stolen goods and one of theft in August and September last year. He was remanded in custody until he appears in the crown court at a date to be fixed.

Liam Senior, 26, of Samuel Court, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to six charges of theft. He mostly stole alcohol gift sets from BHS in October and then sold the items to the police shop.

His solicitor Mark Holt said he had a decade-long addiction to class A drugs but had not got into any trouble since he was released from prison in December. He was given conditional bail and his case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be completed.

Thomas McBean, 41, of Turret Lane, Ipswich, admitted stealing items including a woolly hat, watch and aftershave in December before selling them to the shop. In a police interview he admitted that he had been unemployed and did not have enough money to support his drug habit.

Mitigating Neil Saunders said McBean was clean now and had a job as a self employed painter and decorator. He was fined �35 and ordered to pay �15 surcharge.