Man Jailed Over Stand-Off With Police In Darlington

A man armed with knives who threatened police after an 8 hour stand-off from the window of his bungalow in Darlington has been jailed.

Richard Barnes twice armed himself with knives and hurled ornaments and other objects from the window of his rented bungalow in The Causeway, Darlington, a court heard.

The 51-year-old was said to have "dealt very badly" with police arriving at his home after a worried neighbour called 999 when he heard repeated cries of 'help'.

His barrister Dan Cordey told Teesside Crown Court that part-time cleaner Barnes "clearly has problems with authority and clearly has problems with anger management".

The defendant gestured from the dock and asked Mr Cordey to tell the judge, Recorder Martin Bethel, QC, that he was not anti-police and his best friend is a retired officer.

Two years ago, he dodged jail despite yelling vile insults about Pc Blakelock and maniac gunman Raoul Moat when he was arrested in Darlington town centre.

He has now been locked up for two years after Recorder Bethel described the February 18th drama as "as bad an offence of affray as one can imagine".

The judge questioned why more serious charges were not brought, which would have given him the chance to pass an extended sentence for the protection of the public.

He told Barnes:
"Your extremely violent and threatening behaviour continued for many hours and caused a great deal of upset to your neighbours, who had to be evacuated.

"I was surprised when I discovered on checking on it that affray carries a maximum sentence of three years. I find it difficult to imagine a more serious case."

Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court that there had never been any problems between the neighbours until the late-night explosion of drunken anger.

Barnes threw a pair of scissors at one policeman, hitting him in the leg, spat at another two, and shouted from his window.

Miss Masters said:
"He made several references to officer Keith Blakelock, and Harry Roberts, the deaths, and said he wanted to cut a copper's head off.

"In his interview, the defendant was angry and aggressive. He told them 'you can't keep me here forever', and said he would take pleasure from killing police."

Mr Cordey said Barnes - who has previous convictions for manslaughter and armed robbery - eventually apologised and told officers and put it down to drink and anger.

Mr Cordey said:
"There were some unpleasant threats made. Clearly, the situation went on for a long time, but there were no injuries caused.

The police should be commended. They had the good sense to leave him just to blow himself out before he effectively walked out of the address himself the next morning."
 

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