Ipswich: Chantry flat siege man spared jail

Lee Suckling

Lee Suckling - Credit: Archant

A man who was involved in a stand-off with armed police when he threatened to blow up his Ipswich flat has been spared jail.

Lee Suckling, of Iris Close in Chantry, was sentenced to a 12-month prison term, suspended for 18 months, by the town’s magistrates.

A supervision order was made a condition of the sentence. He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and £80 to the victims’ fund.

Last month the 43-year-old admitted affray at the first hearing of his case.

Police, including a negotiator, were called on July 18 after a neighbour contacted officers saying she feared Suckling was going to jump from his top-floor flat.

He then began throwing items from the flat, which is 30-40ft up, including wooden flooring panels, a chair and a vacuum cleaner.

Witnesses also heard Suckling say he had a gun and a microwave that was filled with fertiliser, which he said he would trigger to explode if anyone came into his flat.

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Officers were first called to Suckling’s flat at about 7.45pm and he was arrested more than four hours later. During the incident, there was also a confrontation with police, the court was told.

At Suckling’s hearing last month prosecutor Lesla Small said: “He was verbally abusive to people in the street. He threatened to go get a gun.

“It was clear that he was upset and he made clear that he had a microwave and if anyone came inside he would blow it up. He was arrested and during police interview he said he felt he was in a hole and he couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Witnesses reported to police they had heard Suckling say he feared he was going to lose his flat, which it is believed caused the incident.

The court was also told he was struggling financially and that he had received letters from the job centre claiming he owed money, which he had refuted.

Sue Threadkell, mitigating, said: “He showed remorse from the outset and the officer who dealt with him was concerned about him – the officer felt he was in a very bad place.

“He was not acting out of malice or to threaten anyone. He was, unfortunately, in the process of becoming quite unwell.”

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