Brighton fish and chip shop worker given last chance by judge after cannabis factory conviction

Posted On 08 Nov 2019 at 1:58 pm

A Brighton fish and chip shop worker who helped run a cannabis factory was given a last chance by a judge yesterday (Thursday 7 November).

Harry Imbimbo, 28, was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years, having pleaded guilty to being part of a conspiracy to produce cannabis.

His co-defendant, Jacqui Narvaez-Jimenez, 54, was jailed for three and a half years for her role in running the cannabis factory.

Narvaez-Jimenez, who had no previous convictions, had denied the offence – and a charge of abstracting electricity – but was convicted by a jury.

At Hove Crown Court, Judge Christine Henson told Imbimbo that he had been failed by the system but that he was finally receiving the help that he needed.

She told the court: “If I see him again, I will lock him up.”

Imbimbo, who works in a chip shop in King’s Road, at the bottom of Ship Street, Brighton, was ordered to wear an electronic tag for three months and obey a 10pm to 8am curfew. He was also ordered to carry out 15 days of rehabilitation activity.

Judge Henson told Imbimbo, also known as Harry Rogers or Junior Imbimbo, of First Avenue, Lancing: “You are easily led and swayed by others to do things. It seems to me that there have been a lot of system failures up to this point.

“This sentence will hang over you for the next two years. If you don’t comply with the conditions or you commit a new offence, you will be sentenced for the new offence as well as having to serve the two years.

“I hope I don’t see you again, Mr Imbimbo.”

Solicitor advocate Jason Halsey, for Imbimbo, said that when police had been looking for him, he handed himself in and said that he was entirely responsible for the cannabis factory.

Mr Halsey added: “He’s not a leader of men. He’s a follower.”

Piers Reed, prosecuting, had just told the court that the cannabis factory had been set up in a building in Pier Road, Littlehampton.

It had been adapted and cannabis was being dried out there to be prepared for sale on the streets.

Harry Imbimbo

Mr Reed said: “There was a cycle of production. It was a relatively sophisticated operation but we’re not dealing with a sophisticated individual.”

The cannabis factory came to light after a fire at the premises, possibly resulting from a bodged attempt to bypass the electricity meter.

Referring to Imbimbo, the judge said: “He’s got an appalling record but nothing like this.”

The judge heard that Narvaez-Jimenez was a mother of two with a “positive good character” as several references suggested.

Her solicitor advocate Kevin Light quoted from them, saying that she was “good, kind, hard working … a supportive person”. Another referee called her “a fantastic person who’d given … huge support”.

Narvaez-Jimenez, of Ardingly Drive, Goring, had worked as a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Worthing.

But she owned the building used as a cannabis factory and had a significant role in the operation, the court was told.

The judge said that the factory was found only because of the fire. It contained 79 plants – enough to make almost 6kg of cannabis for street sale.

The haul was described outside court as having been worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Judge Henson ordered the destruction of Narvaez-Jimenez’s phone and, jailing her, said: “This was an operation capable of producing significant quantities for street use.”

  1. gilbert bligh Reply

    What purpose does it serve jailing her for 3 and a half years? Surely a non custodial sentence is appropriate for this sort of offence and person – 6kg of herbal cannabis is a relatively small amount and is not a class A drug – meanwhile arguably far worse drugs in alcohol and tobacco legally sold everywhere.
    The British justice system is a joke – locking harmless people up and letting harmful people stay on the streets… like the scumbag who smashed a bottle in the face of the Korean student.
    There is so much reform needed – the system is broken

    • Tell thetruth Reply

      Where you at the case?? Do you know them?? Jacqui deserved what she got. The judge was fair. Jacqui was controlling, manipulative and believed she was above the law. The evidence spoke for itself. What is printed in this article is a miniscule look into what was really going on. She got found not guilty on a few other charges due to circumstantial evidence. Her sentence could of been so much worse.

      • ? Reply

        You seem to have a real interest in this case. We’re you a jury member or did you view the trial?

  2. Truthwillout Reply

    This has been misprinted and facts were not properly provided. These two people were convicted of 2 completely different offences just happened to be in the same trial. Again another example of police corruption. A woman of 54, no previous arrests or convictions in all of her time, who was the landlord and had no knowledge of this offence, also being a supportive member of the church and community, who’s only crime was being to trusting by renting a property to a individual with adequate identification and through the usual process. She was found not guilty on the other charges due to facts and this one was only on circumstances because of her link to the property. No forensic evidence, or anything to link her to this except ownership of the building, which was up for rent and sale with estate agents. Such a tragic outcome for someone who helps so many and have been left without her care. A real loss to the community.

  3. Shaming Reply

    What a real shame. People getting suspended sentences for a lot more, this woman seems like she has been let down by the system. For just owning a property. The man, having a history of offending and given a community sentence. What a miscarriage of justice.

  4. John Reply

    What a joke!!!! So the person quoted by the courts as having an appalling criminal record gets a suspended sentence. Yet the person who has no criminal record and of good character gets 3.5 years for renting her house out. 77 plants ! Seen people get less for 100s of plants. This justice system is absurd. I feel for the lady sentenced and Hope she is ok. I would totally be destroyed if this happened to myself. As I previously rented out my house and was used as a cannabis factory. Myself and this lady are the victims of these crimes

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