Jail for knife-wielding man whose actions led to evacuation of store

A row of police cars outside Wilko in Ipswich. PIcture: CONTRIBUTED

A row of police cars outside Wilko in Ipswich. PIcture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A man who brandished knives in an Ipswich town centre shop causing it to be evacuated has been jailed for 15 months.

Matthew Dawson

Matthew Dawson - Credit: Archant

Matthew Dawson sparked a police emergency response last July after wandering around Wilko in Upper Brook Street stabbing paint cans and other items of stock, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Samantha Lowther, prosecuting said Dawson later told police he had seen a woman with a baby in the store and had told her to leave because he didn’t want to stab the baby.

Several months later in October Dawson had left his mother’s house in Ipswich and was found by police in the garden of his former partner’s house.

Miss Lowther said a note saying “they must die” was found on his computer and his mother told police her son had been discussing cannibalism on-line and had threatened to kill people in Christchurch Park.


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Dawson, 34, formerly of Mackintosh Place, Ipswich, admitted possessing knives in a public place and threatening behaviour at Wilko on July 5. He also admitted making a threat to kill and having a knife in a public place on October 21 last year.

Sentencing him Judge David Goodin described the case as “worrying” and said Dawson posed a potential danger to members of the public. In addition to being jailed Dawson was made the subject of a restraining order.

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During the incident at Wilko Dawson was seen on the first floor carrying 10 knives which had been removed from the store’s shelves and taken out of their packaging. Staff and customers were removed from the premises and the store was closed until police arrived.

CCTV images showed Dawson walking around the shop carrying the knives and stabbing items of stock, including cans of paint.

Police with tasers arrived at the scene but Dawson handed himself over to officers.

Dawson told police he had drunk eight to 10 pints of beer in a local pub and couldn’t remember what happened at the Wilko store. He said he wouldn’t have harmed his former partner and had planned to cut his wrists with the knife.

Paul Donegan for Dawson, said his client had no previous convictions and suffered from a variety of personality disorders. He had committed offences after mixing alcohol with his medication.

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