Ipswich man’s mum sent him pepper spray for protection, court hears

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A man was sent pepper spray for protection by his mother as he was living in fear of his cousin, a court heard.

Mateusz Splawiec, of Bulwer Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to possessing a weapon designed or adapted for discharge.

The 22-year-old also admitted three counts of possessing an offensive weapon. These involved two extendable batons and a truncheon, and a further charge of possessing a knife in a public place.

Splawiec also admitted possession of cannabis.

All the charges related to November 2.

Prosecutor Lucy Miller said at around 10.25pm an Ipswich Borough Council CCTV operator in the control room reported to police that a vehicle has stopped in Barrack Corner. Two men were inside the car.

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

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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.

A further search of his vehicle yielded an extendable baton from the glove compartment, a wooden truncheon in the boot, another extendable baton under the steering wheel and a knife in the ashtray of the dashboard.

Mrs Miller said Splawiec told police he carried the pepper spray at all times. His mother had sent it to him from Poland as he was in fear of his cousin.

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.

John Hughes, representing Splawiec, said his client had been in the UK for five years. His cousin came over from Poland around a year later.

Referring to his client’s interview at the police investigation centre Mr Hughes said: “He was very apologetic and quite frightened.”

The court was told Splawiec had tried to help his cousin by letting him stay in his home and had attempted to keep him on “the straight and narrow”.

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

Mr Hughes said the cousin had damage 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.

Sentencing was adjourned until December 16.

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