Ipswich father had axe in pocket when he intervened in son’s dispute

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A father who intervened in a dispute between his son and another male has been given 60 hours’ unpaid work for possessing of an axe.

Richard Sherman, of Downside Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon in a public place when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

The offence happened on June 5.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said it was shortly after midnight when police were called to a report of a disturbance between two males in Downside Close.

When officers arrived one spoke to a drunken, aggressive man who was said to be Sherman’s son.

Sherman, 44, appeared and moved his son away from the incident. He spoke to the officer but his son continued to be aggressive and was told to go back into their flat.

The officer then noticed a two-foot long orange and black handled axe in Sherman’s rear jeans’ pocket as Sherman was trying to calm down his son.

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The police officer retrieved the axe from Sherman and left him to continue dealing with his son.

Sherman was subsequently arrested for possessing the axe.

He later told police he took the axe outside because he was concerned about his son being attacked, although he would not have used it.

John Hughes, representing Sherman, said police had not noticed the axe until his client was walking away from the area of conflict.

The court was told the other male - who had length of wood with him - had hammered on Sherman’s door demanding his son come out.

Sherman was said to have put the axe in his pocket so if the other man brandished the wood he could take it off him and chop it up.

Mr Hughes said: “Mr Sherman is somewhat disappointed this has occurred because in the past he has been a doorman. His licence ran out in January and Mr Sherman was saving up to get his licence back, so that opportunity is lost.”

In addition to the unpaid work magistrates told Sherman he must pay £25 costs and £85 to the victims’ fund.