'Very angry' Welwyn Garden City man jailed after rooftop siege
PUBLISHED: 16:18 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:18 13 July 2018
A "very angry" Welwyn Garden City man has been jailed after a rooftop siege in which other residents had to be evacuated by police using shields.
Jon Banks, 44, barricaded himself in his Welwyn Garden City flat and after making his way onto the roof hurled tiles at police officers down below.
He managed to hit two cars, including a police vehicle.
Police officers had to use their shields to prevent themselves being struck by the tiles as Banks hurled abuse and obscenities at the officers.
On Thursday, July 12, when he appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court, Banks was still in an angry mood.
Appearing via a video link from the jail where he has been held on remand he told Judge Philip Grey “Go **** yourself!”
Having stormed out of the video suite at the jail, Judge Grey said the outburst demonstrated Banks’ complete lack of remorse and showed he had no insight into what he’d done back in March of this year.
Prosecutor Richard Paton-Philip told how late on the night of March 16 going into the early hours of March 17 police attended the defendant’s flat in Stanborough Close, Welwyn Garden City.
He had been involved in a domestic-type incident with a woman and by the time police arrived that night, Banks had barricaded himself inside the first floor flat using furniture including a sofa and a fridge.
He refused to engage with the officers, who could see him inside the property waving a knife around shouting abuse and threatening the police.
Mr Paton-Smith said Banks began throwing items out of the window at the police including a toaster, cutlery, and a lamp.
The prosecutor said: “It went on for hours and officers had to deploy their shields.
“He then used a saw to gain access to the roof and removed tiles.”
Judge Grey, hearing the case, was told many of the tiles from the roof were removed by Banks and used as missiles.
As a result Banks caused damage to a member of the public’s car parked outside the building as well as a police vehicle.
Police decided to evacuate his near neighbours due to the tiles being thrown.
The evacuation took place under the cover darkness with officers using their shields to protect residents as they moved them to safety.
“He was on the roof for five hours,” said Mr Paton-Smith who added that Banks was eventually coaxed down and arrested.
The court heard the damage to the roof of the housing association flat and the cars was in excess of £5,000.
In court on Thursday, Banks who has two children, pleaded guilty to three offences of criminal damage and affray.
The court was told he had a long list of previous offences and had been before the courts previously on 22 occasions for a total of 65 offences.
Miss Diana Constantinide, defending, said: “It’s quite clear we are dealing with a very angry man.”
Passing sentence Judge Grey told Banks: “You threw roof tiles using them as missiles.
“The police were compelled to evacuate your neighbours.
“They had to be removed in the night and under the over of police shields for their own safety.”
It was as the judge was going through his list of previous offences that Banks suddenly stood up from his chair and moved closer to the video camer to shout:”Go **** yourself” before storming out of shot.
With the link from the court to the jail severed, the Judge sentenced Banks to a total of 25 months in jail.
He compared the defendant to a toddler who blames others when things go wrong before throwing a temper tantrum.