Off duty officer diffused Christmas Day axe row

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Gheorghe Lupu, of Fonnereau Road, received a suspended prison sentence. - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich man who brandished an axe during a Christmas Day row over a parked car has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing 35-year-old Gheorghe Lupu, Judge Martyn Levett described the incident as “nasty”.

He said: “You came running out with an axe and this could have turned out to be a very serious incident.

“Very serious injury was diffused by the commendable actions of a police officer who was off duty."

Lupu, of Fonnereau Road, Ipswich,  admitted affray and possessing an offensive weapon on December 25 last year.

He was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £450 costs.

Most Read

Adam Norris, prosecuting, said an off-duty policewoman was at home in the Charles Street area of Ipswich town centre when she heard an argument in the street shortly after lunch.

The argument occurred with some visitors over a parked car.

The officer went out and tried to split up the groups and then saw the defendant, who’d been drinking wine with his Christmas lunch, run out of a car park with a long handled axe, which he was holding above his head.

Some men pulled the axe away from Lupu and the off-duty officer, who was concerned about what might happen next, had called 999, said Mr Norris.

She held on to the defendant but then saw a man being kicked on the ground in the car park and when she went over to deal with that situation Lupu had tried to move away but was restrained by other people until other officers arrived at the scene.

The axe was recovered nearby.

Mr Norris said Lupu had no previous convictions in Romania or this country.

He said although no-one was injured by Lupu during the incident, serious fear had been caused to people who were in the area when he brandished the axe.

The court heard that after his arrrest on Christmas Day Lupu answered ‘no comment’ during police interviews.

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