Man appears at Ipswich Crown Court over string of offences

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

A judge has warned a man who admitted a string of offences that he faces the possibility of being detained for a lengthy period under the Mental Health Act.

Henry Gaskin, 34, appeared today at Ipswich Crown Court flanked by two members of staff from St Clements Hospital in Ipswich. Gaskin has been held since his arrest.

Gaskin pleaded guilty to six offences and was told by Judge Martyn Levett that, when he is sentenced in January, it is possible that he will be detained under an order which restricts the date of his release until when he is no longer considered to be a danger to the public.

The charges which Gaskin pleaded guilty to included causing criminal damage to the VW car in Hepworth, having an offensive weapon – a lock knife – in Prentice Street, Stowmarket and being in possession of an imitation sub-machine gun in Guncotton Way, Stowmarket with intent to cause fear of violence.

Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said the imitation firearm charge arose from an incident in which Gaskin had fired BB pellets from the weapon from inside a Transit van towards other cars, causing one man to flee believing the gun was real.

Gaskin also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in Guncotton Way, Stowmarket, Church Road, Old Newton, Bury Road, Tesco car parks in Stowmarket, and on the A143 at Stanton.

He also admitted driving whilst disqualified at Stanton, Brockford and Great Blakenham and using a vehicle with no valid insurance.

The court heard all the offences had been committed on a single day, March 10, 2017.

Appearing for Gaskin, Evelyn Hicks said a further psychiatric report was being prepared on her client and which would be presented by a consultant when Gaskin appeared to be sentenced.

Judge Levett told Gaskin he would be brought back to court to be sentenced on January 16 next year.

Gaskin was warned that it was a possible he may receive a hospital order confining him to a secure facility and his release may only be sanctioned by the parole board if and when they were satisfied that he no longer posed a danger to the public.

Judge Levett ordered that Gaskin should remain detained under the Mental Health Act until he is sentenced.

The judge agreed that a further charge of causing damage to a Range Rover and a set of electric gates at a property in Thwaite on March 10 and to which Gaskin had pleaded not guilty should lie on file.