Suffolk drug baron jailed
A DRUG dealer who lived a "fantasy lifestyle" is today beginning a five-and-a-half-year jail term.Edmond Almond, of High Road, Trimley St Mary, was sentenced yesterday at Ipswich Crown Court after admitting a "weakness for nice things".
A DRUG dealer who lived a "fantasy lifestyle" is today beginning a five-and-a-half-year jail term.
Edmond Almond, of High Road, Trimley St Mary, was sentenced yesterday at Ipswich Crown Court after admitting a "weakness for nice things".
Police found a stash of 2,589 MDMA (ecstasy) tablets stuffed in a coal bunker during a raid of his £250,000 home on July 31.
Along with the drugs, which had a street value of £19,400, a T-reg Lotus Elise, a V-reg Jaguar XJR and a red Ducati 748 motorbike were also seized.
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The three vehicles had a combined trade value of £39,000, but Almond told police he paid just £3,000 for them.
He admitted three charges of handling stolen goods and a further count of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.
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The court was told Almond had already served a five-year prison sentence in Jersey for his part in the importation of 1.2 tonnes of cannabis resin, in 1997.
During his time inside and shortly after leaving, a total of nearly £260,000 was paid into a bank account he shared with his wife, Fiona. This money has never been accounted for.
Soon after his release, in August 2002, he splashed out £40,000 on a motorboat, before buying his Suffolk home one month later.
Prior to this, he and his wife had been living in housing association accommodation.
Charles Benson, mitigating, said: "My client gave way to his weakness for nice things.
"He's always tried to produce nice things for his wife.
"It was a fickle image built on escalating debt. There was an element of naivety and an element of greed."
He added Almond, known as Eddy, was in debts of £318,000 and that there was concern for the mental health of his wife, with whom he has two children, aged two and four months.
Judge Peter Thompson, sentencing, said: "You knew what you were doing. You took terrible risks fully aware of the consequences and that your family would have to face them.
"I have no sympathy that you have a weakness for vehicles. The sheer quantity and value of them makes this matter far more serious."
He gave Almond four years for the drugs offences with a further 18 months for handling the stolen vehicles.
A proceeds of crime hearing will be held in January to decide the fate of his house and the confiscated vehicles.
ALTHOUGH Almond has been convicted of these serious offences we cannot show you what he looks like due to a litany of mistakes and red tape.
Suffolk police had a picture of Almond but could not release it to as it had become damaged.
The Prison Service has a picture of him but will not release it unless Almond gives his permission.
Devon and Cornwall police decided not to release their copy of his picture as it was several years old and was not taken in direct connection with these offences.