Ipswich teenager found not guilty of possessing machete and affray

Ipswich Crown Court, where Jason Mohammed and Quin Byrne's sentencing hearing was adjourned

Daniel Das Neves was acquitted at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An Ipswich teenager has been cleared of brandishing a machete in the town by a jury following a three-day trial. 

Giving evidence during his trial at Ipswich Crown Court, 19-year-old Daniel Das Neves told jurors the machete was a plastic toy which he found behind a bin

Prosecutor Matthew Bagnall had alleged that Das Neves was seen brandishing a machete in Cecil Road and Barrack Lane.

He said the issue in the case was likely to be whether the machete was real or a “plastic look alike machete”.

Das Neves previously told the court he and a friend had been fixing the chain on his bike with a friend outside a house in the town’s Cecil Road on January 31 when they saw a man arrive on a bike.

The man was wearing a balaclava and after getting off his bike he had pulled out a machete from his trousers.

Das Neves, of Risby Close, Ipswich, said he had looked for somewhere to hide before picking up a black plastic toy knife that he found behind a bin where he was standing.

“I grabbed it to intimidate him so he would go away,” he previously told the court. 

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He said there was a car on the driveway and he and his friend, and the man with the machete, had “circled “ it for about five minutes before he and his friend had decided to make a run for it.

“I didn’t want anyone to be worried about what was happening. It would look suspicious if they saw me running with the black machete-looking toy,” he said.

When they reached Barrack Lane the man who was chasing them had got off his bike and started coming towards Das Neves.

“I took out the toy again to intimidate him and he said: ‘Alright I’ll go for him then’ referring to my friend,” said Das Neves.

He had then seen the man strike his friend and it was only when they were hiding in the garden of some nearby flats shortly afterwards that he realised his friend was bleeding from a stab wound.

The jury, of seven women and five men, took just two hours and 25 minutes to unanimously find Das Neves not guilty of having an article with a blade. 

Recorder Jeremy Benson also directed jurors to find Das Neves not guilty of a charge of affray.