Six jailed after police raids

SIX men are today behind bars after they were caught handling stolen goods or supplying drugs to undercover police officers.Dozens of people were arrested during raids in June carried out in Ipswich by 250 police officers, which targeted drug dealers and suspected thieves.

SIX men are today behind bars after they were caught handling stolen goods or supplying drugs to undercover police officers.

Dozens of people were arrested during raids in June carried out in Ipswich by 250 police officers, which targeted drug dealers and suspected thieves.

The raids were as a result of two separate police operations launched last year. One involved officers setting up and running a “sting shop” in Norwich Road, Ipswich, where more than 100 people flocked to sell stolen goods. There were recording devices installed and the individuals were identified, and then later arrested and charged.

Undercover officers were also buying drugs from dealers for test purchases, and some of these culprits were also arrested during the raids.

Judge Goodin said: Handlers of stolen goods in these circumstances are going to get more [punishment] than thieves.”

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Stephen Mills, 24, who used to live in Ipswich but now lives with his mother in Norwich, admitted six offences of theft and three of burglary. It was heard how he carried out the offences in October last year, and then sold the goods in the sting shop.

Mr Thomson in mitigation claimed that the main reason for his crimes was to fund his drug but he is now clean and on a drug rehabilitation course.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence for each offence to run concurrently, which will be suspended for two years. He was ordered to have supervision in the community for two years, and was subjected to a 26-week curfew. He was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Shaun Mills, 21, of Kelly Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to four charges of handling stolen goods of items like an XDA (a personal computer), an i-Pod, and projectors. He admitted selling these items in the shop on four occasions in January this year.

In mitigation, Roger Thomson, explained that Mills had lost his job in November 2008 and had financial problems.

He was also in breach of a 16-week suspended sentence imposed for driving whilst disqualified. He was sentenced to seven months in prison, which included an extra month triggered from his suspended sentence.

Diggory Warren, 33, of St Matthew's Street, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to supplying class A drugs, possessing class B drugs and two charges of possessing class A drugs.

He will serve at least half of his 18-month prison sentence for supplying ecstasy, and was given three months in prison for the possession charges. This will run concurrently with each other, and also to 18-month sentence.

Judge Goodin said: “You were not above putting stuff out in the community where hard on the heels follows violence, acquisitive crime, burglary, theft robbery, as people resort to these activities to fund their habit.”

Ian Buxton, 23, of Downside Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to four charges of handling stolen goods, like projectors and a laptop, between September last year, and January.

Mitigating Neil Saunders said: “Very often these operations are snapshots of a character at the time. Months later that character is very different. He has got a purpose and direction now and wants to be a youth worker.”

Buxton was given six months in prison for each of his offences, to run concurrently.

Christopher Warth, 25, of Pauline Street, Ipswich, admitted five offences of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and one of handling stolen goods.

Mitigating Alan Wheetman, said: “He blames nobody but himself for committing these offences. He is no longer on methadone. “Drugs have controlled his life but he doesn't want them to control him anymore.”

He was also in breach of a 52-week suspended sentence for inflicting grievous bodily harm. He was given a two-and-a-half year prison sentence, plus six months for the suspended sentence breach, to run consecutively.

Warren Rose, 22, of Poppy Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to 11 offences of handling stolen goods, and one of theft between August last year and January.

Mitigating Neil Saunders said: “He has been a mug and he knows that.”

Rose was given two and a half years in custody for handling stolen goods, and six months in prison for theft, to run concurrently.

Aaron Knock, 19, of Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, admitted five charges of handling stolen goods during last September and January.

It was heard that he has been in court 54 times for 81 offences.

Mitigating Joanne Eley said: “He is very remorseful for his behaviour. He knows he must change.”

Knock was sentenced to eight months in prison for each offence, to run concurrently.