Trio jailed for attack on Ipswich home where five children were sleeping

Hammersmith Way in Ipswich

Hammersmith Way in Ipswich

Three men who went to the home of an Ipswich father-of-five armed with a hammer and bats and smashed windows and panels in the front door have been jailed for eight months.

Mark Mateer, whose children – aged between two and 12 – and partner were asleep at the property in Hammersmith Way, feared he was going to be killed during the violent incident and armed himself with an axe, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Before the court were Geoffrey Barnard, 33, of Ancaster Road, Ipswich; his brother Robert Barnard, 40, of The Street, Kirby-le-Soken; and their friend Dean Letts, 36, of Pyesand, Kirby-le-Soken.

They admitted damaging property and affray on July 31 and, in addition to being jailed, were banned from contacting Mr Mateer and his family and from going to Hammersmith Way indefinitely.

Sentencing the men, Judge David Goodin described the incident, which was recorded on CCTV, as “absolutely terrifying”.

At about 1am on July 31, Mr Mateer and his family were in bed when they heard smashing and banging and saw the three defendants outside the front of the house armed with a metal baseball bat, a rounders bat, a lump hammer and a spray bottle with a substance in it, which was sprayed through the letter box.

During the violent incident windows and panels in the door were smashed, as well as windows in the family’s car.

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Threats were also made to Mr Mateer, including: “We are coming through the door. You’re dead.”

Laura Kenyon, prosecuting, said that Mr Mateer’s children woke up during the incident and were crying.

Rakesh Sharma, defending, said Robert Barnard had been worried about the anxiety the animosity with Mr Mateer was having on his brother and wanted to help.

He added Letts was racked with remorse about what he had done and realised he shouldn’t have got involved in the incident.