Felixstowe couple who made thousands dealing drugs will only pay back £281

Ipswich Crown Court

James Southey and Samantha Baker appeared at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A Felixstowe couple who made thousands of pounds from selling cannabis have been ordered to repay less than £300.

A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday (March 10) heard that James Southey’s benefit from cannabis dealing was £5,500 while his partner Samantha Baker’s benefit was £2,263.

However, Laura Kenyon, prosecuting, told the court Southey only had available assets of £271 and Baker only had nominal available assets of £10.

Recorder Gabrielle Posner made confiscation orders in those amounts.

An earlier hearing in October last year was told that police went to the couple’s home in May 2020 after Southey was approached by an officer near Maidstone Road, Felixstowe.

The officer noticed a strong smell of cannabis and Southey admitted he’d been smoking cannabis and had a small amount of the drug on him.

Southey was detained for a drug search and a lock knife was found in his possession as well as mobile phone which was found to contain messages relating to drug dealing.

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After Southey’s arrest police went to his home and during a search they found containers of herbal cannabis and 48.9g of cannabis in a locked garden shed. 

Southey admitted he’d been selling cannabis to friends for about six months to pay for his own cannabis use.

Southey, 34, of Runnacles Way, Felixstowe, admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply, being concerned in the supply of cannabis, possession of cannabis and possession of a lock knife and was given a ten-month prison sentence suspended for two years, a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to do 140 hours unpaid work.

Baker, 33, of the same address, admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of cannabis. 

She was given a two-year community order, a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.

At the couple’s sentencing hearing Hugh Vass for Baker said she had no previous convictions and she and Southey had two children.

“She got involved with some reluctance because it was her partner’s gig and she went along with it,” said Mr Vass.

He said Southey was stopped by police after going out to carry out a drug transaction and hasn’t deliberately taken the lock knife with him.

Southey was now working as a cleaner and there was no evidence of an extravagant lifestyle.