Jail for man who brought town to stand­still

Perthshire Advertiser - - NEWS - Court re­porter

A man who caused ter­ror in an Perthshire town when he bar­ri­caded him­self in his flat has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

A full-scale emer­gency was de­clared on De­cem­ber 6 last year in Alyth af­ter 35-year-old Ken­neth Dou­glas threat­ened to“set fire to ev­ery­one.”

Firearms of­fi­cers, dog units and trained ne­go­tia­tors were sent in and Alyth was in vir­tual lock­down, Perth Sher­iff Court was told.

But the sit­u­a­tion de­te­ri­o­rated - and dur­ing a sub­se­quent six-hour siege, Dou­glas, who lives on the town’s High Street, claimed he had turned on the do­mes­tic gas sup­ply and threat­ened to blow up the build­ing.

The area around the house, which had ear­lier been cor­doned off, was im­me­di­ately evac­u­ated and two fire ap­pli­ances and two am­bu­lances were de­ployed nearby.

Dou­glas was sen­tenced at Perth Sher­iff Court this week.

He will also be su­per­vised for a fur­ther 12 months when he is re­leased.

Dur­ing the lengthy stand-off, the ac­cused, who ap­peared to be un­der the in­flu­ence of drink or drugs, re­peat­edly threat­ened to stab and kill po­lice.

At one point he shouted at them:“I’ll blow you up, you mag­got. I’ll set ev­ery­one on fire and put a bul­let through my head.”

He also used his bare hands to punch the liv­ing room win­dow, cut­ting them both and send­ing shards of glass fly­ing into the gar­den be­low.

He then be­gan to smear blood over his head and body and had ear­lier screamed:“The only way to get me out of here is by shoot­ing me.”

He was hold­ing two knives in his hands at that time.

An axe was also hurled through the bro­ken win­dow, nar­rowly miss­ing of­fi­cers who were in the gar­den out­side.

The stand-off fi­nally ended af­ter he was seen to“be­come drowsy”af­ter con­sum­ing un­known med­i­ca­tion and a bot­tle of al­co­hol.

He hadn’t en­gaged with ne­go­tia­tors for some 15 min­utes prior to that - and of­fi­cers took their chance, us­ing a “py­rotech­nic dis­trac­tion de­vice”to con­fuse him be­fore storm­ing the flat.

That gave them time to force open the door, re­strain him and re­move him from his home.

Dou­glas, who has been re­manded in Perth Prison since the alarm­ing in­ci­dent, ad­mit­ted throw­ing var­i­ous items about Alyth High Street on De­cem­ber 6 last year and dam­ag­ing two cars parked there, caus­ing £75 and £250 dam­age re­spec­tively.

He also armed him­self with two knives, threat­ened to stab and kill po­lice with them, threw an axe at PCs Scott Gor­rie and Calum Gib­son, de­manded that of­fi­cers shoot him, and held a knife at his throat.

He then re­sisted ar­rest by bar­ri­cad­ing him­self inside the flat, stat­ing that he had re­leased the gas sup­ply, and threat­ened to blow the build­ing up.

Sher­iff Lind­say Foulis had called for vic­tim im­pact state­ments from two of the neigh­bours im­me­di­ately af­fected - they were later said to be“very shaken and fright­ened”- as well as a re­port from the ac­cused’s GP.

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