Ipswich man caught with array of weapons in car is spared jail

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A man caught with an array of weapons when police searched his car in Ipswich has been spared jail.

Mateusz Splawiec, of Bulwer Road, Ipswich, had claimed pepper spray found had been sent to him by his mother to protect him from his cousin.

Also discovered in his vehicle were two extendable batons, a wooden truncheon and a knife.

Splawiec admitted three counts of possessing an offensive weapon, possessing a weapon designed or adapted for discharge, and possession of cannabis when he appeared at an earlier hearing before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

At his sentencing Splawiec was given a 12-month jail term, suspended for 12 months. He was also sentenced to a supervision order with 100 hours unpaid work.

In addition he must pay £245 in court costs and charges.

He was caught at around 10.25pm on November 2 when an Ipswich Borough Council CCTV operator told police a vehicle had stopped in Barrack Corner.

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Police arrived shortly afterwards and spoke to Splawiec who was in the driver’s seat.

He was detained for a drug search. When asked if he had anything on him he produced a cannabis grinder, a can of Defense Nato Red Pepper Gel Spray and a small amount of cannabis.

The court heard Splawiec told police he carried the pepper spray at all times.

Splawiec said the truncheon and batons were left in his car from when he moved home at Christmas.

The court heard he said he was using the knife to prepare a filter for his cannabis joint.

At Splawiec’s guilty plea hearing his solicitor John Hughes said his client had been in the UK for five years. Splawiec’s cousin came over from Poland around a year later.

It was said Splawiec had tried to help his cousin by letting him stay in his home.

However, he got into hard drugs and kept asking Splawiec for more and more help.

Mr Hughes said the cousin had damaged Splawiec’s home, his car, and had threatened him, but he was so frightened he had not contacted the police.

The court was told previously two men attacked Splawiec in an alley and he had recognised them as “his cousin’s soldiers’.

Mr Hughes said Splawiec had contacted his mother and she had sent him the pepper spray for protection.