Builder hurled bricks at police in tense stand-off
ABUILDER hurled bricks at police from a derelict building during a 45-hour “standoff” which involved more than 100 officers and cost £18,000.
Christopher Foley, who was wanted for recall to prison, pulled his trousers and pants down while jeering police, telling them he might not come down for several months.
Cardiff Crown Court heard how the incident started at 9.30am on June 5 when the defendant was spotted standing on top of a derelict building on Bridge Street in Tredegar.
David Pugh, prosecuting, said Foley was wanted for recall to prison at the time.
He told the court: “There followed a stand-off with the police which lasted for 45 hours.”
Prosecutors said he threw missiles, including stones and bricks, towards police officers, vehicles and a drone.
The court heard the firearms unit and two negotiators were deployed.
Mr Pugh said: “[The negotiators] made little progress with him, to be frank. He threw missiles at them.”
He added: “He threw half a housebrick, narrowly missing an officer’s head. He struck a police van with stones and caused some damage.”
Prosecutors said the derelict building, which backed on to Foley’s home, was next to an industrial estate and members of the public were walking past.
Mr Pugh said: “He took his trousers and pants down.”
The court heard he mimed a sex act and there were “whistles, cheers and jeering” from bystanders.
Foley shouted to the police: “F*** off. If any of you c***s come up here, I’ll smash a brick over your head so hard you’ll be licking your own a***.”
Prosecutors said he indicated he might not come down until October, but managed to sneak away into his own home, where he was arrested at 6.40am on June 7.
Mr Pugh told the court the operation took between 700 and 900 hours of police time, with an average of 15 to 20 officers present at any one time.
He said 110 officers were allocated during the 45-hour period at a cost of more than £18,000.
The court heard some of the businesses on the neighbouring industrial estate were blocked off and lost money.
When he was interviewed, Foley stated he thought Gwent Police were “corrupt”.
He told officers had taken 56 sleeping tablets and a box of Nurofen.
Mr Pugh said: “He also said he had been drinking a fair amount of lager. He really did not remember much of the incident.”
Prosecutors said he had been before the courts for 68 previous offences and had a “long history of dishonesty”.
He was recalled on a sentence of three years and two months for wounding and was due to be released in January.
Foley, 51, from Bridge Street in Tredegar, admitted affray, causing criminal damage and outraging public decency.
Suzanne Payne, defending, said he was badly assaulted in 2015 and assessed as having a “severe brain injury”.
The court heard he was not able to sleep and harmed himself, as well as damaging his own property.
Ms Payne said he has received medication following the assessment in prison and is now able to sleep properly, as well as appearing calmer.
The defence barrister told the court her client is in a long-term relationship and feels “embarrassed and ashamed” of his behaviour.
Foley was jailed for six months.
> Christopher Foley during the stand-off with police