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Colin Adwent Crime correspondent, Chef jailed over fowl play
Thursday, January 3, 2013
A BRAWL over a chicken breast has landed a chef in prison.
It is believed two chefs at the Fontana Chinese restaurant began arguing over who would prepare the meat before a fight broke out in the kitchen.
Xian Chen pleaded guilty to affray when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich.
The 35-year-old was sentenced to 12-weeks imprisonment after his colleague was left with a cut to his head and a burn to one of his arms.
The incident sparked a manhunt on land and in the air as police searched for Chen for nearly three hours after he fled the scene in Cattawade, near Brantham at 1.40pm last Saturday.
Before the argument started one of the men had been preparing vegetables, while the other was said to have been cooking rice.
Chen claimed a row began over a chicken breast. It is believed part of the quarrel was over who would cut up the meat.
As the dispute escalated, the men started arguing about their boss, prosecutors said.
With feelings running high the debate turned from being a verbal altercation to a physical confrontation.
The injured man told police Chen started a fight by throwing a punch. During the struggle the victim, who was unarmed, was hit on the head with a knife.
Both cooks fell on to a hot oven during the brawl, leaving the victim with a burn to his arm.
Chen eventually ran off from the restaurant and police were called.
Several officers and the police helicopter went to the scene.
Chen’s victim was left lying on the ground outside the premises with a five centimetre cut to his head, a burn to his left forearm, bruises and a swollen top lip.
He was taken to hospital where the superficial cut was stapled.
The police helicopter flew over the nearby River Stour scouring the bushes and hedgerow in a bid to find Chen. It also searched Lawford Dale, Manningtree, and Brantham. Officers on the ground also began trawling the area.
Chen, who gave his address as The Fontana, Cattawade Street, Cattawade, was found in an area of trees and bushes between the restaurant and the river at just before 4.25pm.
He was arrested and taken to Martlesham police investigation centre.
A spokesman for The Fontana declined to comment.