Ipswich: Pregnant mum’s terror at being held hostage at knifepoint in her own home by intruder
11:26 24 March 2014
A mother told how she feared for her life and the life of her unborn baby after being held hostage at knifepoint in her Ipswich home.
Violent Russell Ireland is beginning a seven-year jail term today after a siege with armed police at the house in Cullingham Road.
Maria Carvalho was around eight months pregnant and with her partner Angelo Paiva when agitated Ireland walked in through the back door, believing he had earlier killed a teenage boy.
Ireland, 29, threatened to stab Mr Paiva and at one point held a knife to his throat.
Speaking about their ordeal, which happened last October, Ms Carvalho said: “It was horrible.
“I was just sitting on the sofa looking at movies on the television not looking at him at all. I had a pillow in front of my belly because of my unborn baby.
“It was just terrible. I feared for my life.
I was very frightened because he was big and had a knife. I felt he could lose his mind and do something.
“He was calm sometimes, but when he was on the phone (to police) he just snapped.”
Mr Paiva said when he originally heard a noise at the back door he thought it was their landlord coming into the house.
At the time the couple were at home with Ms Carvalho’s 28-year-old sister, also called Maria.
Mr Paiva said: “He (Ireland) said ‘I need to lay low’. I said ‘why’. He pulled out a knife and he said ‘I’m going to stab you’.
“I said ‘sit down’. It was quite weird.”
Although initially agitated Ireland calmed down and watched films with the couple.
Mr Paiva even made him a sandwich and gave him something to drink.
After Ireland rang an aunt, armed police arrived outside the house.
Mr Paiva said: “He became aggressive when police came here. He broke the baby’s chair and tossed it against the door.
“He started to become unstable. He said he didn’t like to lose his temper because he loses control of himself.
“I told him to relax. He was like that on and off. He started making phone calls to his auntie and then the police contacted him by phone.”
Ireland agreed to release Ms Carvalho, but wanted officers to move away.
Mr Paiva said: “He said he would let her go because he didn’t want to cause any distress to the baby.
“He grabbed me and put the knife against my neck and used me as a human shield. When he opened the door and saw the police he started to become a little agitated and told me to close the door. I had to kick it shut.”
Eventually Ireland agreed to give himself up telling officers he would put the knife down and would be kneeling on the stairs when they came in.
Mr Paiva said he had previously been in a similar situation when a knife was held to his throat during a mugging in New York.
Ms Carvalho said: “I was very proud of Angelo. He remained calm and it was the best thing to do.”
Arya, the couple’s unborn daughter at the time, is now four months old.
Ireland, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court last Friday. He had admitted three offences of false imprisonment, making a threat to kill, assaulting a 16-year-old youth, burglary at the Kingsley House Hotel in Ipswich, threatening a member of staff at the hotel with a knife and assaulting a police officer.