Ex-nightclub owner jailed for firearms and drug offences

A FORMER Eastbourne nightclub boss has been jailed for five years for possession of firearms and drug dealing.

Graeme Dean, of Cheam Close, Tadworth, Surrey, was involved in the running of Indigo Red in Seaside.

The 40-year-old’s fiance Suzy Deakin, 33, was also caught with a loaded gun when police suddenly raided the Tadworth home the couple share.

Deakin was spared prison at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday (September 15) but she sobbed in court as Dean was sent down for five years.

The court heard Deakin had a Russian-made tear gas gun converted to fire live rounds. She pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court to unlawfully possessing the firearm and five rounds of live ammunition, and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

The pair were arrested on May 13, 2009 and Dean was convicted of possessing the firearm with intent, possessing 2.6 grams of cocaine and 89.7 grams of GHB, with intent to supply.

He was also convicted of possessing cannabis and veterinary drug ketamine.

Police armed with a search warrant found the firearm stuffed inside a sock, which was wrapped in a black bin liner and inside a computer bag placed at the bottom of a spare bedroom cupboard.

Deakin tried to convince a jury her fiance - a partner in Indigo Red Nightclub at the time of the arrests - knew nothing about the gun, but this was rejected.

“A loaded gun is worse than an unloaded gun,” Judge Tim Stow QC told the defendants, both first-time offenders.

“Possession of a loaded firearm is regarded extremely seriously by parliament and the courts. It gives the potential for serious injury and death.

“This was potentially a very serious weapon. It would not have taken that long to get hold of if someone wanted to use it.”

The judge told Dean, “It is a possibility you supplied the odd customer at the club.”

Deakin also pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and received a one month concurrent sentence and no further penalty for admitting possessing a small amount of cannabis.

Indigo Red was shut down by the council and police for unrelated matters almost a year ago.