Man threw furniture at police in flats siege

The seige lasted 12 hours. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The seige lasted 12 hours. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A 44-year old man hurled furniture and other items from a ninth floor flat, damaging two police cars in a 12 hour siege.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court Stephen Cameron, a prisoner in Saughton, was jailed for 16 months by Sheriff Isabella McColl, who told him: “This was a very unusual offence, but a grave one indeed, involving a huge number of personnel from police, fire and ambulance services and the damage done to the property”.

Two police vehicles were damaged. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Two police vehicles were damaged. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Cameron had pled guilty previously to committing a breach of the peace and endangering police officers on April 1 and 2 this year at Inchcolm Court in West Pilton Grove. Sentence had been deferred for background reports.

Fiscal Depute, Mina Poppius, had told the court that the incident began at 3.15 pm on April 1 when neighbours contacted the police about Cameron being in possession of a knife and shouting and swearing in the common stair. When officers arrived at his flat, she said, he refused them entry and began barricading himself in. He then deliberately flooded the flat, damaging it and flats below. Police negotiators were threatened with violence and Cameron told them he was going to throw himself out of the window. The Fire Brigade and Ambulance service were called in.

During the stand-off, the Fiscal said Cameron hurled excrement, a television, microwave, frying pan, knives and other items of furniture from his flat, narrowly missing those below, but taking two police vehicles out of action because of damage to a bonnet and a broken windscreen.

Ms Poppius told Sheriff Isabella McColl: “About 3 am entry to the flat was forced and when that happened the accused became compliant, was arrested and taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary”.

Solicitor Advocate, David Allan, told the Sheriff: “He says in the days before this incident he had been drinking heavily and taking legal highs. Also, there had been an incident with one of his neighbours which had agitated and aggravated him. As he put it, he ‘just flipped”.

Mr Allan said his client accepted full responsibility for his actions and according to the Social Work report showed genuine remorse. Being on remand had been Cameron’s first period in jail and he had found it a salutary lesson.