Court told of samurai sword standoff

A SAMURAI sword-wielding father-of-two threatened to “cut the head off” a police officer before armed officers shot him in the stomach with a baton gun, a court has heard.

A SAMURAI sword-wielding father-of-two threatened to “cut the head off” a police officer before armed officers shot him in the stomach with a baton gun, a court has heard.

Terry Hayes made repeated threats while waving the sword in the air despite Pc Donald Roberds' efforts to calm him down during the terrifying incident in Beaconsfield Court, Haverhill.

The drama eventually ended when two trained armed officers approached Hayes and shot him with a baton gun, which fires large plastic bullets.

Hayes, 30, was warned he was likely to face a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and affray yesterday.

Magistrates in Sudbury heard that a fight broke out between Hayes and his father-in-law, Graham Abbott.

Hayes, who had been drinking, was punched three times in the face by Mr Abbott before entering his house in Beaconsfield Court and grabbing the sword.

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He then started making threats while on the balcony of his property during the incident on August 7 of this year.

Pc Roberds attempted to calm Hayes but started moving members of the public away from the scene, after he looked as if he was going to come down from the balcony before he was eventually shot.

Kevin Lowson, prosecuting, said: “Pc Roberds attended the scene and heard shouting and banging from a balcony of one of the properties.

“The defendant turned to the officer and threatened to cut his head off. “Because of the danger of the situation, Pc Roberds moved away to put distance between them.

“The defendant shouted at the officer 'do you think you're hard because you have got a uniform on? I am going to cut you up'.”

Mr Lowson said the defendant was not a violent man, although he had a “lengthy” criminal record.

“Luckily, no actual violence was used and no one was injured although a number of people were put in considerable fear,” he added.

Russell Haldane, mitigating, said Hayes had spent eight days in hospital following the baton gun shooting.

He added: “In the heat of the moment, things were said by my client but there was sufficient distance between himself and the police officer to avoid any threat.

“My client says he was shot without warning, he fell to the ground with the most immense pain one could ever experience.

“He sustained three damaged ribs, a compressed lung and a haemorrhaging kidney.”

Magistrates told Hayes that the incident deserved “great punishment” and opted to transfer the case to the crown court for sentencing, at a date to be notified in due course.

Speaking after the case, a spokesman for Suffolk police said baton guns were only used by trained firearms officers and only after a full risk assessment of a situation had been carried out.

“It is a less lethal option than shooting someone with a real gun,” he said. “The gun is aimed at a torso, the force of which makes the person fall to the ground, therefore stopping them in their tracks.

“All police forces have got baton guns and they always carried by officers. “This is certainly not the first time Suffolk police has used a baton gun.”

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