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Man jailed for violent axe attack towards neighbour

PUBLISHED: 07:41 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 26 April 2018

The incident took place in Skylark Lane, Ipswich, on New Year's Day. Picture: TOM POTTER

The incident took place in Skylark Lane, Ipswich, on New Year's Day. Picture: TOM POTTER

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An Ipswich man has been jailed for a terrifying axe attack which sparked an armed siege and left his neighbour fearing for her life.

Martin Saltiel was given 12 months' custody for affray in Skylark Lane on New Year's Day. Picture: SUPPLIED BY SUFFOLK POLICEMartin Saltiel was given 12 months' custody for affray in Skylark Lane on New Year's Day. Picture: SUPPLIED BY SUFFOLK POLICE

Martin Saltiel tried to smash his way into his female neighbour’s ground-floor flat in Skylark Lane on the morning of New Year’s Day.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how the 48-year-old, who normally walked with the aid of a stick, crashed down the stairs of the two-storey property and attacked his neighbour’s door with an axe.

Prosecutor Richard Potts said: “He made a hole big enough to put his hand through. Fortunately, a chain was on the door, but he went to the kitchen window and smashed every glass panel.

“He then returned to the door and began to hit the glass panel.

“His neighbour pulled her hand away as the axe came through. She ran to the back garden and through the patio doors of an adjoining flat.

“As she ran to the kitchen, she saw the defendant had got inside, and her other neighbour standing between them, holding the defendant to calm him down.”

Saltiel’s neighbour said she had never been so frightened, despite once being mugged at knifepoint.

During the incident Saltiel was heard shouting: “You’re all aliens. You’re all against me.”

Armed officers, a dog unit and the police helicopter were called.

Saltiel was arrested and kept in custody – appearing in court on January 31 to admit the affray.

He had consumed eight cans of lager and some port before falling asleep on New Year’s Eve, but had taken no drugs, other than medication for a back condition resulting from a car crash.

Paul Donegan, for Saltiel, said his client had a clean record and no idea of what had possessed him. He said the car accident had caused him to stop work and suffer increasing pain.

Sentencing had been adjourned until yesterday for medical reports – but notes recorded up to 2017 showed no evidence of a psychological condition.

Judge Rupert Overbury told Saltiel: “No one, least of all you, understands why this happened.

“There is no evidence to suggest an episode like this in the past. Nor has there been a repeat of such behaviour while in custody.

“You displayed an extraordinary level of violence.”

Saltiel was sentenced to 12 months’ custody – but will serve the rest of half the term behind bars before being released on licence and under the supervision of the probation service.


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