Partner ‘grabbed by throat’ in attempted robbery in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, court hears

Cloud Nine in Upper Orwell Street. Picture: EDMUND CROSTHWAITE

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

The partner of a shopkeeper at Cloud Nine in Ipswich was grabbed by the throat and dragged upstairs during an attempted robbery, it has been alleged.

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Giving evidence on the second day of the trial of Marco Maximo and Eduardo Fonseca at Ipswich Crown Court, Sky Jennings said she has been behind the till at Cloud Nine in Upper Orwell Street when she became aware that her partner, Rodney Debenham, was being attacked in a back room.

She went to investigate and had tried to kick one of the intruders who was holding Mr Debenham.

She claimed she had then been grabbed by the throat and dragged upstairs by a second man.

Miss Manning said during the incident she had been asked about money on the premises but she was only aware of a small float in the till and a bag of coins.

She denied that the man who grabbed her had been asking for “spice” and not money.

Maximo, 28, and Fonseca, 36, both of Bournemouth, have denied attempted robbery and affray at Cloud Nine on September 26, 2015.

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During an interview with police following his arrest Maximo claimed his niece had become unwell after allegedly buying an illegal substance from Mr Debrnham and he and his co-defendant had wanted to give him “a bit of a telling off and to tell him not to sell such items to young people in the future”, said Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting.

“They deny there was any demand for money,” said Mr Cleaver.

He claimed that during the alleged incident Maximo went into a back room and grabbed Mr Debenham around the neck. There was a struggle in which glass in a display cabinet was smashed and Maximo allegedly produced a roll of duct tape to go over Mr Debenham’s mouth or to bind his wrists together, said Mr Cleaver.

Fonseca allegedly grabbed Miss Jennings by the throat and took her upstairs.

At one stage he allegedly pinned her down and asked where the money was before searching through drawers in the office.

The incident ended when a customer came in and the defendants left empty-handed.

The trial continues.

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