The brother of a man stabbed to death in Ipswich was allowed to attend his sibling's funeral after being arrested in connection with a Norwich drugs conspiracy, a court has heard.

Edward Quigley, 23, was able to go to the funeral of 18-year-old Raymond, known as James, who died after being attacked in Ipswich town centre in January this year.

Eastern Daily Press: Raymond James QuigleyRaymond James Quigley (Image: Suffolk Constabulary)It was after he had been arrested over his involvement in a county lines drugs operation in the city.

Quigley was among eight gang members jailed for more than a combined 25 years on Tuesday (November 28) after admitting their involvement.

Nicola May, mitigating for Quigley, of Petunia Court, Wymondham, said he "became involved to discharge a debt" and has had "long standing problems with drugs and alcohol".

Miss May said he "feels terrible he's not been able to support his mother through one of the most difficult periods of her life".

Miss May, who also represented Tyler Murphy, 22, of Earlham Green Lane, said he was the holder of the line for less than two weeks acting under direction, "in essence doing others' bidding", in order to "pay back a drug debt".

Eastern Daily Press: The eight gang members who have been jailedThe eight gang members who have been jailed (Image: Norfolk Police)Oliver Haswell, mitigating for Liam Bolt, 20, of no fixed address, who has no previous convictions, said he was "inherently"  a good person who made a mistake and an "appallingly bad decision" in getting involved.

Ian James, mitigating for Jamie Proctor, 22, of Maidstone Road, Norwich, said his client was a young man who had limited involvement and was not a phone line holder in the case. 

John Morgans, for Calvin Garwe, 23, of The Ridings, Norwich, said he was just 21 when he became involved in the operation for just "one day".

He said Garwe was an "impressive young man" who never again wants to return to custody.

Mr Morgans said Garwe's remorse, age and lack of maturity were significant factors.

Andrew Oliver for Lee Cook, 42, of Wilks Farm Drive, Norwich, said the defendant, who he was entitled to credit for his pleas,  clearly had a drug problem at the time "which was the main reason he got involved".

Rob Pollington for Nigel Bestford, 44, and Chole Levy,  33, both of Munnings Road, Norwich, said they were both in "lesser roles" in the conspiracy and were involved over just three days.

He said they were "both addicts" and had been manipulated prior to taking part.

Mr Morgans, for George Doyle, 22, of King Street, Norwich, said he should be given full credit for his pleas to the drugs matters and a separate offence of using unlawful violence on another occasion, and was under no illusions as to the seriousness of the offences.

Rob New, mitigating for Scott Bodily, 43, of Ipswich Road, Norwich, said he was entitled to credit for his plea, and despite having previous convictions had been out of trouble for the past 15 years.

Christopher Harding, mitigating for Don Coughlin, 52, now of Lefroy Road, Norwich, said he was different from the others in that he has to be sentenced for allowing his premises to be used for the purposes of a drug supply operation for a limited period.

He said at the time Coughlin's focus was on his parents who were unwell and he "didn't pay close attention to what was going on".