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UPDATE: Two men appear in court after an armed incident in St Leonards

Two men have been convicted in relation to an armed incident in St Leonards.

Cornel Florea, 21, of Cambria Crescent, Gravesend, Kent, appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 31 January and pleaded guilty to affray and being in possession of a knife blade / sharp pointed article in a public place.

Robert Murphy, 33, of no fixed address, appeared before the same court and pleaded guilty to affray.

Both men were remanded in custody to appear before Lewes Crown Court for sentencing on Monday 27 February.

Police received multiple reports of shots being fired towards a vehicle in Theaklen Drive at around 7.10pm on Tuesday 24 January.

Shortly afterwards, a report was received of a man in possession of a firearm and others in possession of knives near Churchill Court in nearby Stonehouse Drive.

Armed units responded to the scenes of both incidents, assisted by specialist officers from neighbouring forces and a National Police Air Service helicopter, in a bid to minimise the threat to the public.

No injuries were reported.

Following the incident, police carried out four search warrants, leading to a number of arrests.

Numerous weapons were also seized, including machetes, blank firing pistols and ammunition, and a baton.

Florea and Murphy were both arrested on Monday (30 January) and subsequently charged.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Sharon Ford, said: “Sussex Police quickly responded to this incident with the support of partnership working with other forces.

“As a result, we have successfully removed dangerous weapons from potentially being used in Hastings.

“I’d like to thank the public for their help and quick reporting that undoubtedly prevented anyone from being harmed.’’

Chief Inspector and District Commander for Hastings and Rother Jay Mendis-Gunasekera added: “As recently appointed District Commander, I would like to thank our communities and teams who have worked together on this fast-paced investigation.

“It is a priority for me to make our community a safe place for all our residents and visitors.

“Due to the nature of the reports we received, it was imperative that we responded accordingly, and this included calling upon our neighbouring forces for support. I would like to thank them and the swift actions of officers.”

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