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21 March 2014, 16:47 | Updated: 21 March 2014, 17:11
An Ipswich man has been jailed for seven years after locking three people in a house and threatening them with a knife.
At around 3.15pm on Friday 18 October last year Russell Ireland, aged 29 years from no fixed abode, Ipswich, assaulted a 16 year old boy at a hotel he was staying at in Ancaster Road, Ipswich. Police received reports that a man had assaulted a boy, by punching, stamping on him and hitting him around the head with a glass ashtray.
The boy received minor injuries and didn't require hospital treatment.
Police were also told that the suspect had left the scene and entered a kitchen within a hotel on London Road, Ipswich where he was seen to pick up a 3’’ knife and leave.
Ireland made his way to an address in Cullingham Road, Ipswich where he entered the property through a back door.
Three people were in the house at the time, a 32 year old man and two women aged 28 years and 25 years one of whom was pregnant. Ireland brandished a knife throughout and told the three people he just needed somewhere to hide out.
Whilst in the house Ireland phoned one of his relatives in London telling her what he was doing. The relative called the Metropolitan police who then contacted Suffolk police.
Enquiries were made and the house where Ireland was falsely imprisoning the three was identified as being in Cullingham Road.
Due to the seriousness of the allegations and concerns for the occupants of the house a full firearms operations took place and the house was surrounded by firearms officers.
After a period of four hours whilst police negotiators worked with Ireland, he handed over the knife to one of the occupants and surrendered himself to police.
Ireland was arrested by officers and taken to the Martlesham Police Investigation Centre and subsequently charged with:
Three counts of false imprisonment
Threat to kill
Threatening a person with a blade in a public place
Burglary other building
Actual bodily harm
Assault on a police officer.
The threat to kill charge was later withdrawn and on 15th January 2014 at a plea and case management hearing held at Ipswich Crown Court Russell Ireland entered a guilty plea to all seven charges.
Today, Friday 21 March, the court heard the details of the offence and Ireland was sentenced to seven years in prison.
After the court case Detective Inspector Eamonn Bridger said: "This was a particularly disturbing crime to be committed. To enter the victim’s house and then hold them against their will is something that will stay with them for some while to come.
"The sentencing today shows the seriousness of the crime and will hopefully provide some reassurance to Ireland’s victims.”