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Exeter ice cream woman denies being drug dealer

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: March 14, 2014

Exeter Crown Court

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A kiosk owner has denied dealing drugs from her Exeter home and said cash found under her bed came from selling ice creams and antique jewellery.

Tiffany Leach and her boyfriend Kenneth Lecomber were arrested after police found two bags of cannabis in a safe in her bedroom and a total of £17,563 cash in her house.

She says the drugs belonged to Lecomber and were for his own use and some of the cash was a float for her seasonal ice cream kiosk.

Lecomber says £12,000 found beneath a drawer in a bedside cabinet was compensation money for an injury he suffered years before which he chose to keep in cash rather than in the bank.

Leach, of Kings Road, Exeter, and Lecomber, aged 48, from Winchester, both deny possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of £17,563 as proceeds of crime.

Miss Beth Heaton, prosecuting, said police searched Leach’s home in November 2012 and found 7.03 grams of cannabis bud and 8.59 grams of resin in a safe in her bedroom.

The also found £12,000 under a drawer in the bedside cabinet and £5,000 in notes and coins in two plastic boxes under the bed.

Scales and ziplock bags were also recovered which police experts said were suggestive of cannabis dealing.

Leach told police she had never smoked, bought or sold cannabis but Lecomber had access to her safe. She said she used the scales and bags in her antique jewellery business.

She said the cash under the bed was the float for her ice cream kiosk and had nothing to do with drugs.

Lecomber told the jury he had been in a relationship with Leach for a few years and spent a couple of nights a week with her in Exeter, commuting from his home by motorbike.

He said he was a widower who lost faith in banks when his wife died of cancer in 2006 and he was unable to access the £900 left in her account.

He told the jury he had been a bricklayer until 2005 or 2006 but had lived on benefits ever since and his only luxury was cannabis, on which he spent around £50 a week.

He said the cash in the drawer came from a compensation payment for an accident at work which he had taken out of the bank and never spent and which he hid at Leach’s home for safe keeping.

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