Ex-Assistant Chief Constable of Essex and Ipswich businessman sentenced after brandishing police baton in noisy neighbour row
A former Essex assistant chief constable’s fall from grace is complete after being sentenced to a community order following a confrontation with a noisy neighbour.
Ipswich Crown Court heard Lee Weavers, the county’s ex-head of crime until his retirement in 1999, lost his temper and his unblemished reputation after brandishing a police baton during the dispute.
The 61-year-old, of Coprolite Street, Ipswich, snapped after he was told police and the borough council could do nothing about loud music blaring out from flats in Duke Street.
The court heard Weavers had received numerous commendations during his 30 years police service. However he took retirement on health grounds and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder which is heightened in certain situations.
At the time of his arrest Weavers ran two companies in Ipswich, one of which offered security services to foreign governments.
Various references were submitted on Weavers’ behalf at his sentencing, including one from Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.
Weavers had previously admitted possessing an offensive weapon. A further charge of actual bodily harm on Ben Jarrett was left to lay on file.
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Anna Hamilton-Shield, representing Weavers, said of her client: “He’s always displayed integrity and honesty. His humiliation is now complete.
“He has suffered both mentally and (in) his standing in the community for what I can only describe as a moment of madness.”
Judge Rupert Overbury said the testimonials he had read spoke of Weavers as being extremely highly-regarded.
He added the loss of the good character which Weavers had worked so long and so hard to establish would probably be the biggest punishment that could be inflicted upon him.
But, Judge Overbury said: “Your behaviour on August 11, 2012, was wholly unacceptable and you would have known that at the time.”
It was conceded Weavers actions were born out of frustration and the “stress which flowed from those frustrations”.
The court heard Weavers had previously complained about problems with anti-social behaviour in the area of Ipswich waterfront where he lived.
Prosecutor John Farmer told the court Weavers had become annoyed over a loudspeaker blaring music from the first floor balcony of flats near his home.
Having called the police and council, Weavers took matters into his own hands and picked up a police baton, which he had retained from his service, before walking across the road to the flats.
He let himself in and there was a physical altercation with Mr Jarrett. Police were called and Weavers left the building.
He stood on the street outside his home with his baton behind his back, before going inside and concealing it in the hallway.
Mr Farmer said: “The implication is he had seen police arrive and got rid of the weapon.”
Weavers was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a 120-hour unpaid work requirement. He must also pay costs of £2,000.