Dad-of-six brandished knife in large town centre disturbance

The last time Suffolk police authorised section 60 was in November 2019 following an incident of vio

The incident resulted in Norwich Road, Ipswich being closed for several hours - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich father-of-six who was caught on CCTV brandishing a knife during a large disturbance in the town centre has been jailed for 26 months.

Sentencing 30-year-old Cantemir Stefan, Judge David Pugh said the defendant was seen making “indiscriminate downward stabbing motions” with the knife during the mid-morning incident in Norwich Road in November 2019.

Although Stefan hadn’t injured anyone, a man was stabbed during the incident and Norwich Road was closed for five hours - causing serious disruption to local businesses and supporters attending an Ipswich Town home game that afternoon.

“You drove to Norwich Road and you and another got out of the car and you were both holding knives," said the judge. 

"You ran towards a group of males outside a cafe and a large scale fight ensued,” said the judge.

Stefan, 30, of Harvey Street, Ipswich admitted violent disorder on November 23 2019.

David Wilson, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court said Stefan was a leading figure in the incident and had driven to the scene with a “fairly substantial" knife and could be seen on CCTV footage making multiple "swiping” movements at a group of people with the weapon.

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He described the incident as a “serious and large-scale piece of public disorder”.

At an earlier hearing, the court heard there were a number of European arrest warrants outstanding for other people who were allegedly involved in the incident.

Richard Conley, for Stefan, said the disorder was mercifully short-lived and hadn’t involved damage to any shop premises or assaults on emergency workers.

He said his client had been on his way to work when he received a call from his mother, who had been in the Polish cafe in Norwich Road when the incident began and was in a distressed state.

Mr Conley said the incident was the result of tension between two branches of the same family.

He said the knife Stefan was carrying was a knife he used in the course of his work at a chicken factory.

“He didn’t get up that day expecting to be involved in a brawl in the street,” said Mr Conley.

He said Stefan had moved to the UK  in 2017 for a better life for his family and his children were all in local schools.

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