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Drunken yob threw tile at policeman during five-hour rooftop siege in Sunderland

A drunken yob who threw a tile at a policeman during a five-hour rooftop siege has been spared jail.

By Karon Kelly
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 3:19 pm

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Newcastle Crown Court heard that Horn had been wanted for an earlier matter and so police had gone to his address.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: "Officers attended the defendant's home address in Sunderland at around 9.30 that Friday morning in order to effect an arreston the defendant.

Craig Horn.

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"However, in order to avoid being detained the defendant climbed onto the roof.

"Thereafter he remained there for some five hours or so until after 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

"During the course of his time on the roof he jumped between properties, causing damage to the roof of the property.

"He also removed tiles and other items and threw them towards police officers who were obliged to take cover.

"One officer was struck and he sustained an injury to his hand. It was not a significant injury but did bleed as described by him in his statement.

"He described it being swollen and a small cut.

"The defendant eventually came down from the roof. When interviewed following arrest he admitted having gone on the roof in order to escape from arrest."

Horn, of Kingsland Square, Downhill, Sunderland, who has 12 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to affray.

Jamie Adams, mitigating, told the court Horn was a troubled man after witnessing his friend drown around seven years ago.

Mr Adams said: "There's never been any treatment for it.

"It's something which clearly affects him even when he has talked about it.

"One does wonder if that has been something of the cause to why he binge drinks when he does drink, it's to cope.

"He was absolutely going to get caught but one does wonder if there is a better way for it rather than simply sending him to custody."

Judge Christopher Prince agreed and sentenced Horn to eight months, suspended for 18.

The judge told him: "You caused some damage to police vehicles but I'm not told how much.

"You did cause an injury to a police officer.

"I can assure you as far as the court is concerned, there's no such thing as a minor injury to a police officer.

"It's an injury to a public servant who functions to protect the public.

"I have regard to the fact you've never been to custody before and that you pleaded guilty and demonstrate an acceptance for your conduct."

Horn must also complete 20 rehabilitation days and abide by a four-month night-time curfew.