Ipswich MP steps up call for action on town brawl suspects’ court no-show

PUBLISHED: 17:22 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:22 12 June 2020

Norwich Road was closed by police following the incident  Picture: MATTHEW EARTH

Norwich Road was closed by police following the incident Picture: MATTHEW EARTH


Ipswich’s MP has again called for government action on court ‘no-shows’ after 10 people failed to appear for hearings in connection with a large disturbance in the town.

Tom Hunt in the House of Commons  Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONSTom Hunt in the House of Commons Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

Tom Hunt requested a Commons debate on the issue following the appearance at court of just one defendant charged or summonsed in connection with the incident in the Norwich Road area on November 23 last year.

He had previously requested the government’s ‘full force’ in rounding up the remaining 10 and argued that failure to do so would send out an “unacceptable message” about the rule of law.

Police confirmed that a warrant was executed on Monday for the arrest of Constantine Pitigoi, 31, who appeared before magistrates the next day and was bailed to appear at crown court on July 7.

On Thursday, Mr Hunt urged the government to work with Suffolk police to fulfil any European arrest warrants issued for outstanding defendants.

Seven people were charged and three summonsed to court, but only Stefan Dumitru, 36, of Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, appeared before magistrates last month to enter no plea to violent disorder and possession of a bladed article, pending a crown court hearing set for June 16.

A 51-year-old man arrested on suspicion of violent disorder failed to return to police and was served with a summons but also then failed to appear at court.

Warrants were issued for the other people suspected of being involved in the incident, which required the response of armed police and reportedly involved fighting with weapons.

Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg called the case “outrageous” promising to pass Mr Hunt’s concerns to the Home Secretary to be followed-up.

Mr Hunt said he understood the remaining nine were thought to have “fled to an EU country”, but police said enquiries are ongoing and that officers continued to liaise with other agencies in respect of their location.

Mr Hunt said:“It’s welcome that the Leader of the House shares my outrage and that of many Ipswich residents about this case, and that he will now follow up with the Home Secretary to ensure this matter is treated with the utmost seriousness.

“I have already made clear to Suffolk Constabulary that I stand ready to act as link to central government if further support is required.”

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