THREE drunken men who staged a six-hour rooftop stand-off have all been jailed.
A court heard how more than 30 police officers were called to deal with the incident when the three men climbed scaffolding around maisonettes in Connah’s Quay and refused to come down.
They hurled missiles, one threatened to kill a police officer while another urinated in full view of a gathering crowd.
Lee James Bromilow, 21, of St Mark’s Avenue in Connah’s Quay, was jailed for 20 months for his part in the episode. Aaron Evans, 22, of Railway Terrace in Connah’s Quay, received 16 months and Ben Peter Randles, 20, of Rock Cottages, Connah’s Quay, was sentenced to 14 months after they all admitted affray.
The three men – one of whom was wearing a Santa hat atop the building – forced police to cordon off the area.
Businesses were affected by the stand-off, on the last but one shopping weekend before Christmas, and local residents were imprisoned in their own homes after being told not to leave.
Judge Niclas Parry told the men: “Between you, you caused nothing other than a siege situation in the middle of Connah’s Quay.
“Over several hours, drunk and thinking it was funny, you caused disruption to the lives of decent people.
“They were unable to leave their homes, you disrupted local businesses, you abused police and you caused damage to the roof.”
The judge said Bromilow had thrown a tile towards police and Randles had thrown a coin.
People were asked to move their cars, while others were told to stay in their homes. The siege lasted six hours, with 33 police officers involved.
The sentence, he said, had to be imposed to deter others.
“People like you think it is funny, Judge Parry added.
“The community looks to the court for protection.”
Meirion Lewis-Jones, prosecuting, said the three climbed on to the roof at Burton Court just before 9am on Sunday, December 15.
“They were intoxicated, they became extremely abusive to anyone, particularly to the police, who tried to persuade them to come down,” he said.
It led to a stand-off lasting hours after they refused to come down.
Bromilow threatened to kill the first police officer who came up on to the roof, Evans goaded Bromilow to throw something off the roof and Bromilow appeared to have been the most vocal of all three.
They shouted abuse at the police below and at one stage Bromilow threatened to throw himself off the roof. Randles urinated in full view of the crowd which had gathered below.
They drank cider which had been taken from a local shop and they walked up and down the roof shouting “white power” several times.
An ambulance was called, a police negotiator tried to persuade them to come down and Bromilow threw a roof tile in his direction, but it did not hit him. A crowd gathered and local people became frustrated at the way their lives were being disrupted.
A number had made statements – one woman had missed her son’s birthday party because she could not leave her home. Another man had been to his late mother’s home to move her personal effects that morning but found he was unable to leave.
The defendants came down after nearly six hours, admitted what they had done but did not explain why they had made a joint decision to go up on the roof, said Mr Lewis-Jones.
Oliver King, for Evans, said his client was not a ringleader. He did not throw any missiles, and had acted after a drinking binge when he was upset at losing his job.
“He accepts full responsibility and realises it was a stupid thing to do,” he said.
John Hedgecoe, for Randles, said that it was a serious case of public nuisance but no one was hurt.
His client was not a violent character but a young man with a good work ethic whose family were very concerned about him.
Andrew Green, for Bromilow, said that while his client had been described as a ringleader several times, they were all in it together.
He knew it was unacceptable behaviour which had disrupted the community and wasted police resources but when sober he was a pleasant young man.
Alcohol and immaturity caused him to act as he did, Mr Green said.