Jury sent out in racial assault trial of ex-magistrate and son

Nigel and Cindi Stringer

Nigel Stringer and his wife Cindi told court they saw men they blieved were armed in the ground of their home in Morningthorpe. - Credit: Archant

A jury has been sent out to consider verdicts against a former magistrate and his son accused of racially assaulting an ex-tenant. 

Nigel Stringer, 71, and his son Rowan Stringer, 26, are accused of attacking Anthony Munatswa when he turned up at the family home with three friends to claim property that belonged to him. 

The pair are accused of confronting him with an air rifle, hockey stick and hammer claiming they feared their family were in danger.

Both deny four charges including racially aggravated assault.

Boyland Hall in Morningthorpe

Boyland Hall in Morningthorpe. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Mr Munatswa had rented a property from Nigel Stringer on Riverside Road in Norwich between 2014 and 2016, and had left some belongings with him after moving out.

At a county court hearing on January 5, 2018, Mr Munatswa was told to pay Nigel Stringer £820 in unpaid rent, and Mr Stringer to return his goods, both within 14 days.

The trial heard that on January 14 Mr Munatswa had then gone to his former landlord's 11-acre property, Boyland Hall in Morningthorpe, near Long Stratton, to retrieve items he claimed were worth £10,000, including 72 pairs of expensive trainers.

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After climbing over the property’s locked gate a tussle ensued and Mr Stringer struck his ex-tenant with a hockey stick, jurors were told.

Nigel Stringer resigned as a magistrate after the incident in 2018.

Nigel Stringer resigned as a magistrate after the incident in 2018. - Credit: Archant

Giving evidence the former magistrate admitted he had used a racially offensive n-word “as a weapon” while protecting his wife, daughter and son from men he said he believed were armed with a gun and a crossbow.

Sending the jury out to consider its verdict, Judge Emma Peters said they needed to consider why Mr Stringer had not mentioned alleged threats during police interviews. 

Mr Stringer had told the court Mr Munatswa had made a “chilling serious threat” to his family after the county court hearing and a telephone death threat.

Riverside Road in Norwich

The property owned by Nigel Stringer on Riverside Road in Norwich where Anthony Munatswa was a tenant. - Credit: Archant

Rowan Stringer denied using the n-word and told the court he had believed the men had entered the property’s grounds while armed in a "serious and planned attack".

He said Mr Munatswa had a gun but didn’t mention this when questioned because he’d been advised not to by police.

One of the men, who initially denied being armed, had later admitted brandishing part of a car roof rack as a weapon but denied trespassing, the court heard.

The trial continues.