14 men have been jailed for a total of 82 years for a cannabis operation in Norfolk and Kent worth £25 million a year.
ITFC Player Spared Jail
Ipswich Town Footballer Paul Taylor given a suspended prison sentence and ordered him to pay £7,000 in compensation after admitting assault.
An Ipswich Town footballer who attacked a doorman during a drunk night out had been frustrated because injury had ruled him out of playing for his new club, a court has heard.
Striker Paul Taylor, 25, from Rendlesham, Suffolk, was arrested after the incident at the Robert Ransome pub in Ipswich last October.
During the assault Taylor, who had been drinking heavily, punched doorman Shaun Grey in the face, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
He admitted assault causing actual bodily harm at an earlier hearing.
Taylor had played just three times for Ipswich before breaking a foot following a #1.5 million summer transfer from Peterborough United and the injury had ruled him out of action for the rest of the season.
Simon Spence, mitigating, said: "The fact he wasn't able to play was perhaps a source of frustration which led to his behaviour that night.
"He is a young man with a promising career ahead of him and he is looking to put this incident behind him.''
Unemployed Olatunde Ademuyiwa, 24, of Beechway, Liverpool, also admitted actual bodily harm on Mr Grey and the assault by beating of another doorman, Gary Harper.
Judge John Devaux sentenced Taylor to a 24 week prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered him to pay Mr Grey £7,000 in compensation.
Ademuyiwa was sentenced to 34 weeks suspended for 18 months, he must also complete 120 hours of community work.
"This was an ugly incident,'' he said.
"This was a public place in the early hours of the morning and you were both fueled by alcohol.''
Taylor's girlfriend, Jodie Twitchett, who was heavily pregnant at the time, admitted assaulting Mr Harper at an earlier hearing at Ipswich Magistrates and had already been given a 12-month conditional discharge.
Grey suffered a bruised cheek bone, a broken finger and lost a tooth in the attack, the court heard.
He has been unable to work ever since and until recently has been dependent on pain killers.
Prosecutor Michael Crimp said: "Mr Grey had asked the men to drink up as it was approaching midnight. At 12.15am they tried to leave the pub with their glasses but were told they couldn't.
"Mr Taylor asked what they were going to do about it and swore so Mr Grey took the glass from his hand and a struggle took place.''
Mr Grey fell over and Mr Ademuyiwa stamped on his hand. As the men were dragged from the pub, Taylor punched Mr Grey in the face and several other blows were thrown, Mr Crimp added.
Taylor, who is originally from Bootle near Liverpool and previously played for Chester City, has three previous convictions and Ademuyiwa had 17 previous convictions including for dishonesty and drugs offences.
Mr Spence added: "As a young man in Liverpool, Mr Taylor mixed with the wrong people.
"He made a conscious decision to leave that life behind and pursue the talent that he had by way of a career as a footballer.
"Through no fault of his, he suffered an injury which has meant he has not be able to play properly for Ipswich.
"He has managed to leave that injury behind and is considered match fit for the season starting in August.
"Being in the public eye means the club itself expects certain levels of behaviour from its players and disciplinary action has been taken by the club and punishment handed out.''
Juliet Donovan, for Ademuyiwa, said: "He spends a lot of time with Mr Taylor to get away from the wrong crowd.
"They have been inseparable since the age of 11 and he regularly visits Mr Taylor. He says he got involved in the fight to assist Mr Taylor.''
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