Man forced gun into wife's mouth and counted down from three

Ferenc Szabo

Ferenc Szabo was jailed for four years at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A man who forced the barrel of a gun into his wife's mouth and counted down from three has been jailed for four years. 

Ferenc Szabo had been drinking homemade liqueur on the day he falsely accused his wife of having an affair.

The Hungarian born 49-year-old appeared for sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday afternoon.

The court heard that Szabo had already damaged property in anger during the weekend leading up to the incident on November 23 last year, when the father-of-two decided to skip work and get drunk at home in Copleston Road, Ipswich.

Prosecutor Isobel Ascherson said Szabo became further enraged and grabbed the blank-firing Walther P22 pistol after answering the phone to someone he wrongly assumed to be his wife's lover.

Ms Ascherson said Szabo and his wife tumbled down the stairs after meeting on the landing and fighting over the gun. 

Szabo then forced the barrel into his wife's mouth and counted down from three, Ms Ascherson continued.

Most Read

The incident continued outside the property, where Szabo again threatened to kill his wife, holding the gun to her head and forcing it into her mouth a second time. 

Szabo left the scene and was later arrested in a layby more than 30 miles away, in Risby, where he was also found in possession of a lock knife.

Blank ammunition, including a cartridge containing a pepper based irritant, was later recovered from Szabo's home.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to making threats to kill, assault, possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of a bladed article.

In a victim impact statement, Szabo's wife said she forgave him for the incident but wished for him to leave home and return to Hungary.

Dr Tunde Okewale MBE, representing Szabo, said mitigation was limited by his client's scant recollection of his alcohol fuelled behaviour.

He asked the court to afford credit for his guilty plea, adding: "He apologises for his conduct and indicates a willingness to repair the damage he has done to his family."

Dr Okewale said unexpected pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic had led to Szabo drinking in excess.

"This does not justify his behaviour, but may make it explicable," he added.

Judge Emma Peters said Szabo's "cruel and violent" actions had caused devastation to his family, adding: "The events of that night must have been terrifying."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter