Rooftop Wrexham siege man jailed for two years

A man involved in a three-hour rooftop siege has been jailed for two years after hurling tiles and shouting threats to police and racist abuse at passers-by.

Derek John Roberts, 34, was at the time under a restraining order not to approach his former partner.

But one morning in June he went to her house in Delfryn, Penycae, near Wrexham, and then followed her about for some time.

He produced two knives at her home later that evening and threatened to take her hostage.

And when police were alerted he went up onto the roof.

It cost Wrexham Council £2,000 to repair the damage caused mainly to the neighbouring roof in the terrace.

He shouted threats at police officers and hurled racist abuse at two passers-by, called them “terrorists” and shouted: “This is for Manchester.”

Appearing at Mold Crown Court he received a two year sentence after he admitted two breaches of the restraining order, criminal damage and affray.

Judge Rhys Rowland said Roberts had been made the subject of a restraining order by magistrates in January but in June he ignored the order.

He arrived at her home and then followed her around for several hours.

Roberts then went to her home at night and threatened her at a time when he had two knives.

She contacted the police and he went up onto the roof where he started to throw tiles at the police.

He threatened them, saying he would cut them.

It was fortunate that no one had been hurt, he said.

Judge Rowland said Roberts had a dreadful record of previous convictions relating to 96 offences.

Barrister Michael Whitty, prosecuting, said Roberts was banned from contacting his partner or going to Delfryn.

But on June 17 he went to her home in the morning and effectively followed her around for the rest of the day.

He said there was no sense in her getting herself ready to go out, because “you’re going nowhere!” When she did go out he followed her.

Back home she told him he was not welcome and that he should leave.

When she threatened to call the police he told her to go ahead.

“That seems to have been the spark for what followed,” said Mr Whitty.

Roberts ran into the kitchen and took up two kitchen knives.

As she phoned the police she heard him threaten to take her hostage.

The next thing she knew he appeared on her roof and remained there for some three hours.

“Having climbed up and then settled himself on the roof he proceeded to cause a significant amount of damage mainly to the roof of the adjoining terraced house.

“He spent significant periods of time, even after the arrival of police and a police negotiator, ripping up, breaking and throwing roof tiles down onto the ground below,” Mr Whitty said.

At times the danger zone created by his tile throwing was occupied by police officers who had come to help.

Other members of the public were drawn in.

Police officers had to remove their vehicles from the area because it became apparent it was the police he was targeting.

He was aggressive during and threatened one PC saying: “Get away I will smash your face in.”

Roberts was holding the knives and continued to throw pieces of roof tile down covering quite a radius of the area below him.

At one stage he told one officer: “You’re going to need armed police, as you’re the first one I’m going to cut down the face.”

Unfortunately he was abusive to people passing by.

Mr Whitty said when he spotted two young men walking past, one of whom was seemingly of Asian ethnicity he shouted abuse at them as he tried to target them with makeshift missiles.

There was no charge relating to that but it was indicative of his attitude on that night, the prosecutor said.

The episode lasted from 8pm to 11pm and Roberts eventually came down, was arrested and gave a “no comment” interview.

Defence barrister Andrew Green said Roberts had pleaded guilty at an earlier stage had already been in custody for a lengthy period.

See full story in the Leader

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