A three year battle by police to find and punish those responsible for a notorious cannabis cafe is over.
After repeated raids on the property in Freshfield Road, Lancing, and numerous undercover operations, four people were yesterday sentenced for conspiring to supply cannabis.
Wendy Edwards, 40, of Haybourn Road, Brighton, and Sebastian Flynn, 21, of Ringmer Road, Worthing, admitted plotting to push cannabis at the Hole in the Wall cafe.
Michael Allday, 44, of Leconfield Road, Lancing, and Lee Russell, 41, of Ethelwulf Road, Worthing, were found guilty of the same charge after a trial late last year.
Kingston Crown Court was told that Sussex Police first received reports the light industrial unit had been purchased for distributing and smoking cannabis in January 2007.
A police investigation was launched, street briefings with the local community held and a series of search warrants issued.
The cafe, described as “the most fortified building in Britain”, was raided eight times, with officers using cutting gear to get through heavy steel doors.
But it was only in August 2009 that the cafe was closed for good.
The court was told that Allday and Russell were actively involved in the management of premises, Edwards was involved in supplying drugs to undercover police officers, and Flynn assisted at the premises.
Allday is today starting a three year prison sentence while Russell begins 18 months behind bards.
Edwards, who along with Flynn pleaded guilty on the first day of their trial in November last year, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years.
Flynn was given an 80-hour community service order and an 18-month supervision order.