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Suicidal man's Llangollen rooftop siege cost £8k

Published date: 18 July 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A DRUNKEN man intent on suicide climbed up onto the roof of town centre flats and hurled tiles at emergency services.

Bernard Wilkinson had smashed his way onto the roof of his rented home in Llangollen by making holes with a machete.

He drank whisky to try to get the courage to throw himself off. But during a two hour stand-off he hurled tiles at police and paramedics below, after the main A5 road through the town was closed.

More than 26 police officers were involved during the two-hour incident.

Wilkinson shouted abuse at onlookers, police and ambulance staff with a trained police negotiator brought in. 

He eventually came down off the roof and was taken to a psychiatric unit.

Wilkinson, who lived on Regent Street where more than £8,000 damage was caused, admitted affray and two counts of damage after the incident on May 30.

Judge Dafydd Hughes, at Mold Crown Court, agreed to defer sentence until September 17 at Caernarfon Crown Court for his mental health to be assessed.

He told him the sentence would depend on how he would respond over the next two months. Wilkinson, 32, was ordered to comply with mental health treatment and assessment and supervision from the probation service.

He had been bailed to a Reading address but the judge agreed he could now live with a friend in Middleton Park in Denbigh.

During the incident, onlookers were advised to go indoors as Wilkinson threw tiles off the roof. An ambulance car had to be moved to prevent damage and injury. A tile hit a light on the vehicle.

Twenty minutes before he came down, Wilkinson threw down the machete and baton.

There was extensive damage to his flat, windows had been smashed, there was a hole in the ceiling and roof and there was a smell of white spirits.

Interviewed, he said he intended to take his own life. He drank whisky to get the courage to jump, but the white spirit was spilled accidentally and he did not intend to set the place on fire.

Simon Rogers, defending, said unusually the court was being asked to defer sentence.

Wilkinson, who had previous convictions for 105 offences, had mental health issues but had not begun treatment at the time of the incident.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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