Patron tells of knife horror

A TERRIFIED social club patron today told how he fled from an Ipswich club after being confronted by a knife-wielding woman.Frightened Nicholas Upton spoke of the moment he escaped the reach of the woman who brandished the knife without warning.

A TERRIFIED social club patron today told how he fled from an Ipswich club after being confronted by a knife-wielding woman.

Frightened Nicholas Upton spoke of the moment he escaped the reach of the woman who brandished the knife without warning.

The dramatic scene unfolded at about 9.30pm last night at the Caribbean Club in Woodbridge Road where a number of people were playing dominos and enjoying a Friday night drink.

Mr Upton, an antiques dealer from Framlingham, told how he had just bought his first drink when the woman became aggressive and thrust the knife toward him.

He said: “I had only just got a drink and she said 'what are you doing here'. The next moment she got a knife out, it must have been six to eight inches long.

“I was backing away from her and she said 'we don't want you here'.

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“Coming down the stairs I thought 'if I don't speed up a bit I could get knifed in the back'. That's when I speeded up to get out of the way.”

Mr Upton fled to the street to escape from the woman while others inside the club called police.

Armed police and police wearing protective gear, including shields and helmets, evacuated the upstairs floor off the Caribbean Club building.

Several officers brandishing shields blocked the club's entrances while senior officers in the upstairs of the building attempted to negotiate with a woman who was threatening to harm herself and others with a knife but she held them at bay, refusing to relinquish the weapon.

Ambulance officers stood on standby outside the building while police reinforcements wearing specialist protective gear were called in.

A stand-off lasting more than an hour ensued and police only overcame the woman when an officer fired a taser weapon, which stunned her and allowed other officers to arrest her.

The woman is not believed to have suffered any serious injury and no one else in the club was injured.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said officers had secured the upstairs function room of the club and had attempted to convince the woman to release the knife.

The spokesman said: “Police closed the room and attempted to negotiate with the woman who was still armed with the knife.

“During the incident police deployed a taser weapon to bring the matter to a safe conclusion.”

The incident is only the second time in Ipswich that police have deployed a taser weapon and it prompted Suffolk Constabulary to immediately alert standards officers of the use of the weapon.

The police spokesman said: “As a standard procedure when a taser is deployed professional and ethical standards have been notified of this matter.”

A 41-year-old woman from Ipswich was arrested and detained under the Mental Health Act.

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Taser stun guns factfile

The first time a taser gun was deployed in Ipswich was when police were called to Mallard Way in October last year where a man was threatening to harm himself with a knife. The man was successfully arrested without injury to himself or officers.

Taser stun guns temporarily disable suspects with a 50,000 volt charge

The guns were introduced by Suffolk Police for the first time in August last year

The weapon works by firing barbed probes from an electrical gun

It causes the target's muscles to contract uncontrollably and confuses the body's nervous system

The stun guns have a range of 21ft and are designed to subdue targets

They use compressed air to fire two darts which trail electric cables back to the weapon

Tasers are seen as an effective and less lethal option when faced with potentially dangerous situations

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