Roof protest youth was high on drugs

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Staff reporter

A TEENAGER high on cocaine shouted that he was invincible as he hurled bricks at police during a five hour roof top protest on Deeside.

Luke Laidlaw, 19, who said he had “cocaine for the brain” was sentenced to three years and two months youth detention yesterday.

Business operators, customers and local residents were effectively imprisoned below because of the mayhem Laidlaw created in Station Road, Queensferry, on February 22.

Police had to evacuate them using riot shields above them to protect them from the missiles.

Mold Crown Court heard how a pregnant woman was trapped in a bus shelter and screamed out as missiles hurled by Laidlaw struck a police car nearby.

Laidlaw was aiming at police officers and while no one was injured a police car was badly damaged, to the value of £1,700.

He admitted four charges of criminal damage to roof tiles and chimneys, possessing a machete as an offensive weapon and affray following the incident, which was filmed from a police helicopter and from the street below.

He was on bail at the time for a house burglary, which he also admitted.
Judge Dafydd Hughes said that it was quite clear Laidlaw regarded what he did with pride.

“When you finally grow up you will perhaps realise what a fool you have been and the risks that you exposed the public and the police to,” the judge told him.

Laidlaw, homeless, had been seen by local resident Matthew Thompson on the roof and when asked what he was doing he said it was a rooftop protest and that he should call the police.

Laidlaw got a machete out of his holdall and started smashing up tiles and chimneys and then used the debris as missiles.

He was excitable, aggressive and was shouting “No one can touch me now, I am invincible.”

The first officer at the scene, PC Clare Roberts, found Laidlaw extremely aggressive as he threatened to throw a brick at her head.

Laidlaw, previously of Birch Court in Connah’s Quay but who has also lived in Garden City, was seen to snort white powder during the siege.

Police negotiators were sent to talk to Laidlaw who gave himself up after about five hours.

Andrew Green, defending, said his client knew it had to be custody but fortunately no one had been hurt.

The burglary involved a house in Sealand Road, Garden City, when Laidlaw stole a family’s Christmas presents. He also asked for three other burglaries to be taken into consideration including one where he stole jewellery of great sentimental value.

Co-defendant Lee Mark Parry, 23, of Station Road, Queensferry, admitted three charges of handling stolen property following the burglaries and he received a 12 month community order with supervision and curfew.

See full story in the Leader

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