Suffolk

Ex-policeman Lee Weavers sentenced for possession of baton

Lee Weavers at Ipswich Crown Court
Image caption Lee Weavers' trial was abandoned at Ipswich Crown Court in 2013

A retired policeman from Ipswich who brandished a baton during a noisy neighbour dispute has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service.

At a trial in 2013 which was abandoned, Lee Weavers, 61, formerly of Essex Police, denied assaulting a neighbour and possessing an offensive weapon.

He later admitted the possession charge, while the assault charge has been ordered to "lie on file".

The case related to a dispute about loud music, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Weavers, of Coprolite Street, had been head of CID and acting assistant chief constable in Essex during his time with the force between 1969 and 2000.

His trial in 2013 heard Weavers left his flat on Ipswich waterfront and went to 28-year-old Ben Jarrett's home on Duke Street, early in the evening on 11 August 2012, where loud music was allegedly being played.

'Hostile' encounter

CCTV footage showed Weavers leaving the lobby of his block of flats with what the prosecution called a "police-style baton".

The prosecution said a "hostile" encounter had taken place which left both men with minor injuries and Weavers then returned to his flat and concealed the baton in the foyer.

The jury was discharged because Weavers suffered what his legal counsel called a "nervous breakdown" while giving evidence.

In December 2014, Weavers changed his plea to guilty on the possession charge.

The decision to let the assault charge lie on file was made by the Crown Prosecution Service following a review of medical evidence relating to the defendant.

At his sentencing, Anne Hamilton-Smith, counsel for the defence, said "at the time of the offence he was unwell and his public humiliation is now complete".

Judge Rupert Overbury said Weavers' actions were due to his frustrations with his neighbour's behaviour.

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