Five admit being involved in brawl that closed Barclays Bank in Ipswich

Ipswich Crown Court.

Ipswich Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

Four men and a 16-year-old boy who have admitted being involved in a daytime brawl in an Ipswich town centre bank claimed they were victims of a protection racket, a court has heard.

The incident on June 30 led to Barclays Bank in Princes Street being closed for most of the day after a fight broke out between two groups of men.

At the time, witnesses said the incident began with an argument outside Little Waitrose before spilling into the bank where a fire extinguisher and furniture were thrown around.

Before Ipswich Crown Court yesterday were Florin Sandu, 36, of Woodbridge Road; Viorel Siminoc, 21, of Foxhall Road; Claudiu Sandu, 27, of Spring Road; and Costel Sandu, 31, of Speedwell Road and a 16-year-old boy who cannot be named because of his age.

All five defendants admitted affray.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said the incident lasted 90 seconds and one bank employee was injured.

He said the defendants had admitted affray on the basis that another family had demanded protection money from them.

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Sentencing was adjourned until April 29.