Samurai swordsman escapes jail term

A MAN who threatened to cut a policeman's head off with a Samurai sword has narrowly escaped a jail sentence.Terry Hayes, 30, of Beaconsfield Court, Haverhill was yesterday given a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to affray and having an offensive weapon.

A MAN who threatened to cut a policeman's head off with a Samurai sword has narrowly escaped a jail sentence.

Terry Hayes, 30, of Beaconsfield Court, Haverhill was yesterday given a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to affray and having an offensive weapon.

The court heard that the incident ended with a police officer immobilising the sword-wielding Hayes with a rubber bullet, causing injuries which put him in hospital for nine days.

Hayes appeared at Ipswich Crown Court before Recorder Neil Garnham QC, who imposed 50 weeks, suspended for two years.


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The sentence includes a one-year supervision period and Hayes must also work 200 unpaid hours as well as pay £392 prosecution costs. The Recorder ordered forfeiture and destruction of the sword.

Marc Cannatella, prosecuting, told how the incident had occurred shortly after midnight on August 7 this year.

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On the evening of August 6 he had been out for a drink with his wife and others. After midnight, Hayes and his wife had an argument while on their way home from the pub.

This was followed by an incident with his father-in-law, who repeatedly punched him in response to threats and shouting from Hayes.

There was a stage at which police were called and Hayes was then seen to be holding a Samurai sword while standing on a balcony at home

Hayes threatened a policeman who was trying to diffuse the situation, saying: "I will cut your f***ing head off," and "You think you are hard because you have your uniform. I am going to cut you up."

Defence barrister Lindsay Cox said the resultant police action with the rubber bullet – which he was not criticising – resulted in injury including three cracked ribs and a lengthy hospital stay.

As to the sword-wielding incident itself, Mr Cox said it was an ornamental sword and that Hayes could remember nothing, but the catalyst appeared to be having been punched to the floor by his father-in-law.

Mr Cox, who handed in written references from elderly neighbours, said Hayes helped them by cutting their lawns and doing their shopping.

This incident came during a stressful period when his wife had lost two of their triplets in the womb and surgery would be needed for the third.

Mr Cox said: "From the personal circumstances, his presence at home is important because of the baby. His wife is going to need a great deal of support in the course of the month to come.

"This is essentially a decent man. That is what your Honour will read in all the references before you. "It is a man who that night acted completely out of character."

Sentencing Hayes, Recorder Garnham told him "a family disagreement escalated in a quite extraordinary and wholly unacceptable manner" and it would have caused "considerable fear."

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