Man jailed after four-hour stand-off

A DRUNK who armed himself with a 12-inch knife and held police at bay for four hours in a tense stand-off in Ipswich has been jailed.Keith Vince, 54, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court accused of threats to commit criminal damage and causing harassment, alarm or distress, following a four hour stand-off with police and armed response units in Boyton Road.

Tom Potter

A DRUNK who armed himself with a 12-inch knife and held police at bay for four hours in a tense stand-off in Ipswich has been jailed.

Keith Vince, 54, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court accused of threats to commit criminal damage and causing harassment, alarm or distress, following a four hour stand-off with police and armed response units in Boyton Road.

The court heard how Vince barricaded himself into a property on Thursday, threatening to burn down the building and harm himself with a knife.

Saturday's court hearing was told Vince, who pleaded guilty to the offences, had gone to his ex-wife Susan's house at about 6.30pm.

Mrs Vince let him in but told him he couldn't stay for long and that he would have to leave because she was on her way out for the evening. She was unable to reason with Vince when he refused to leave, so left him there and drove to her sister's house with the intention of phoning the police.

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Mrs Vince then returned to her home and sat on the wall outside to wait for the arrival of the police.

Knowing that his ex-wife had contacted the police, Vince came out of the house and told her that someone was going to get hurt.

When Mrs Vince asked him who, he responded: “Could be you, could be the police.” At that point, she noticed that he was carrying a 12inch kitchen knife.

When police arrived, Vince set up a barricade of furniture to block their entry to the property. A stand-off ensued until police broke down the barricade and confronted Vince with a taser stun gun, at which point he gave himself up and was arrested.

Jan Brewer, prosecuting, said that when he was interviewed by police Vince admitted to being very drunk at the time of the siege.

Vince already had 38 convictions against his name for 100 offences dating back to 1970. The last time he was in trouble with police was for a charge of common assault against his ex-wife.

Charles Riddleston, representing Vince, told the magistrates: “When it comes down to it, you are sentencing Mr Vince for a threat. Words are cheap and there was no injury or damage caused by him.

“But, for Mr Vince to be guilty, there is no requirement for the threat to be carried out; only that the he intended someone to fear the threat will be carried out. He is guilty of that. Mr Vince would class himself as an alcoholic and had been drinking all day.”

Peter Page, chairman of the magistrates, told Vince that the severity of his crime meant only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

He said: “Your previous offence was against the same victim. She twice gave you the opportunity to leave and you twice refused to do so. The mitigation that you were drunk doesn't cut much ice with us.

“The appropriate sentence is one of 14 days and that is what you are going to get.”

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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