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Saturday, 16 February, 2002, 11:53 GMT
Ex-soldier jailed after armed siege
Mold Crown Court
Mold Crown Court heard Brown had brandished a knife
A former soldier who claimed he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder was the subject of a 13-hour police siege at his Wrexham home, a court has heard.

Armed police surrounded the home of 35-year-old Robert Christopher Brown, who had been arguing with his wife and threatened to kill himself with a knife.


My client presents himself now as a much calmer man

Michael Chambers, defence barrister
Brown had thrown a firework at police officers and goaded them to shoot him, while he fashioned a hangman's noose in the bedroom and threatened to commit suicide.

The jury heard he also lit an aerosol can, producing sheets of flame.

After a night of negotiations, the armed response unit finally persuaded Brown to leave the house in Colliery Road peacefully.

Jailing Brown for 20 months for affray, Judge Derek Halbert said the incident had been extremely serious.

In court, prosecutor Mr Mark Connor told the court that Brown had been in a "highly agitated, intoxicated and aggressive state".

Police officers were called to the house to arrest Brown on 15 October after a complaint of assault from his partner Donna Jones.
Soldiers in Garvaghy Road, Belfast
The defendant had seen 'appalling' things in Belfast

After failed attempts to gain entry to the house, officers saw Brown waving a carving knife out of a window in their direction.

He shouted abuse and hurled plates at the officers, forcing them to retreat.

Efforts by a trained negotiator to get him to come out were unsuccessful, but finally at 0630GMT, he left the property and was arrested.

Officers discovered the patio door wedged with a plank of wood and a noose made from a vacuum cleaner hose, hanging from an upstairs window with a chair below it.

Denied threats

There was also a suicide note addressed to Ms Jones.

Michael Chambers, defending, said Brown had denied attacking Ms Jones.

The court was told that on 15 October, the defendant was "tired and depressed" and police efforts to gain entry had frightened him.

He denied threatening the police and making threats to burn his house down.

Get on with life

Mr Chambers added that his client had clearly suffered psychological problems after serving in the Army, during which time he had witnessed "appalling incidents" on tour in Northern Ireland.

He had since received treatment for post traumatic stress disorder at Altcourse Prison.

Brown said he wished to put the siege behind him and get on with life with Ms Jones, who was pregnant with his child, and his daughter.

"My client presents himself now as a much calmer man.

"He has had time to reflect, appreciates the problems that he has and in anxious to grapple with those problems with the aid of specialist help," said Mr Chambers.

See also:

02 Feb 02 | Wales
13 Jun 01 | Wales
13 Oct 99 | Wales
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