Ipswich: Former police officer admits confronting neighbour while holding baton was not ‘a good decision’

The Ipswich Waterfront from near Coprolite Street - where the alleged incident took place

The Ipswich Waterfront from near Coprolite Street - where the alleged incident took place

A FORMER policeman accused of attacking a man with a police baton during a noisy neighbour dispute denied attempting to be a “vigilante”, a court has heard.

During police interviews after his arrest last summer Lee Weavers, who lives in a flat on the Waterfront in Ipswich, said he and his wife had been disturbed by loud music coming from a barbecue on a balcony at a neighbouring block of flats and had contacted Suffolk police and the local council to complain.

He claimed Suffolk police told him it wasn’t a police matter and the council said it was aware of the problem and was collecting information.

Weavers, 60, told police he had carefully considered the situation and had decided to go to the neighbouring property and ask for the music to be turned down.

He said he had decided to take a police baton with him as a “defensive weapon” as there were around 12 people at the barbecue who had clearly been drinking.

He accepted that in hindsight it hadn’t been “a good decision” to take the baton with him and denied a suggestion that he was “attempting to be a vigilante”.

He claimed that after initially knocking on the door of the neighbouring block of flats he had entered the premises and had asked 28-year-old Ben Jarrett to turn the music down.

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He claimed that the situation had been “ignited” when Mr Jarrett saw the police baton he was holding and there had been a “significant tussle” during which he claimed Mr Jarrett had butted him and had tried to grab the baton.

Weavers, of Coprolite Street, Ipswich, has denied having the police baton as an offensive weapon and assaulting Mr Jarrett causing him actual bodily harm on August 11 last years.

Mr Jarrett claimed that Weavers had grabbed hold of him and had held the baton across his throat making it hard for him to breathe.

He alleged that Weavers hit him on the head with the baton and he told the court that after the incident he had coughed up blood and suffered friction burns on his elbows.

The court heard that Mr Jarrett had initially been arrested after Weavers claimed he had been assaulted but had been freed after he told officers he had been the victim of an alleged attack by Weavers.

John Farmer, prosecuting, told the court that after the alleged attack on Mr Jarrett, Weavers had hidden the police baton but had told officers where it was before he was interviewed about the incident.

The trial continues today.

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