Ipswich: Man at the centre of siege on Chantry estate pleads guilty to affray

Lee Suckling after leaving Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Lee Suckling after leaving Ipswich Magistrates Court. - Credit: Archant

A man who threw furniture from his top floor flat before threatening to cause an explosion in the building is today awaiting his fate after pleading guilty to affray.

Police and negotiators were sent to Lee Suckling’s home in Iris Close, Ipswich, on July 18 after a neighbour contacted officers saying she feared he was going to jump.

He then began throwing items from the flat, which is 30ft to 40ft up, including wooden flooring panels, a chair and a vacuum cleaner. The area was cordoned off by police as the incident escalated.

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.

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.

He appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to one charge of affray. He was warned that all sentencing options would be looked into, including a possible jail term.

Lesla Small, prosecuting, said: “He was verbally abusive to people in the street.

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“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 sparked 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.”

Suckling’s sentencing was adjourned to September 9.