Ipswich/Clacton: Three admit cannabis production operation

THREE people have admitted being involved in the production of cannabis after police raided two alleged cannabis factories in Ipswich and Clacton.

Ian Lowe, 41, of Grove Lane, Ipswich, and Paul Clarke, 46, a director of Hydroponic Gardens Limited in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to conspiring to produce a Class B drug between June 1 and October 4 last year.

The pair admitted the offence when they appeared before Ipswich Crown Court for their plea hearing.

A third man David Heslop, of Burrell Road, Ipswich, denied being involved in the conspiracy.

However, the 38-year-old pleaded guilty to possession of the Class B drug amphetamine, and possession of heroin.

He also admitted producing cannabis between September 1 and October 30 last year.

Prosecutor Robert Sadd told the court that the conspiracy charge would not be pursued against Heslop, but it would lie on file.

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The trio were arrested during a police operation which reportedly saw around 100 cannabis plants and growing equipment found at a property in Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich.

Officers also raided a warehouse in Clacton last year where around 250 of the Class B plants were said to have been found along with lights and hydroponic equipment.

Six other people are due to stand trial after denying the conspiracy to produce cannabis charge over the four-month period last year.

They are Sandra Clarke, 49, who lives in Wortham Close, Norwich, with her husband Paul, Steven Tibbenham, 46, of Henslow Road, Ipswich, Stuart Bloomfield, 36, of Crow Lane, Clacton, Nigel Beales, 45, of Rushmere Road, Ipswich, Mark Bane, 44, of Mascot Court, Clacton, and Keith Walker, 42, of Cotswold Road, Clacton.

Sandra Clarke also pleaded not guilty to converting criminal property between May 1, 2007, and April 2 last year.

Their trial has been scheduled for August 28.

All nine people were released on bail at the end of their hearings.