Drug sentencing of Ipswich pub landlord delayed after cancer diagnosis

Man admits possession of cannabis with intent to supply

Man admits possession of cannabis with intent to supply - Credit: Archant

A former Ipswich pub landlord who was involved in the growing of cannabis twice in three years has had his sentencing hearing adjourned after a court heard he is awaiting surgery for cancer.

David Clarke, 63, of Old Norwich Road, Ipswich, who previously ran the Red Lion pub in Bramford Road, Ipswich and the Whitton Maypole, was diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer last week, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, told the court that Clarke was given a 40 week prison sentence suspended for 18 months in November 2012 after being found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court of allowing cannabis to be grown in a room at the Red Lion in December 2011.

Last month Clarke admitted producing cannabis in a mini cannabis factory set up in a garage.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, told the court that police went to Clarke’s home in Old Norwich Road with a search warrant on December 11 last year.

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When the officers explained that the purpose of their visit related to drugs Clarke told them: “That’s OK. They are in the garage. There’s about 40 odd plants in there.”

Police were led to the garage at the rear of Clarke’s home where they found 38 plants together with hydroponic growing equipment.

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At an earlier hearing a court heard that if the plants had reached full maturity police estimated their market value would have been £10,000-£30,000.

Ian Persaud for Clarke told the court that last week his client was diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer and was due to have surgery on March 20.

He said Clarke’s wife died of liver cancer six years ago and he was worried he was “going down the same road.”

Adjourning sentence until the week commencing April 20, Recorder Christopher Makey said at the next hearing he would require a full medical report from the hospital or Clarke’s GP setting out what was wrong with him and the nature of the operation he was having on March 20.

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