A man who claims he worked in “royal security” torched a car in the street then barricaded himself in his house prompting a three-hour standoff with armed police.
After lengthy negotiations officers eventually broke the siege by forcing their way into the room where he was holed up in.
As Terence Jones was being sentenced, he asked the judge whether he could go to a country from which he could not be extradited back to the UK in order “to get my head together”. The judge advised against such a course of action.
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Ashanti-Jade Walton, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that the series of events which led to armed police being dispatched started at just after 9pm on March 2 last year when a woman living on Bwlch Road in Cimla heard the sound of breaking glass in the street outside – when she looked out of the window saw her neighbor, 55-year-old Jones, hitting a parked Vauxhall Adam car with a crowbar. The woman called out to Jones and he ran off, but he returned a short time later with a cigarette lighter in one hand and a “burning object” in the other which he then threw onto the roof of the car.
Police and firefighters were called, and when the emergency services arrived the defendant ran back to his nearby house. The court heard firefighters reported a “strong smell of accelerant” around the car, which suffered a scorched roof – rain on the night seemingly stopped the flames spreading.
Police went to Jones’ house and found he had barricaded himself into a bedroom – he was described as being “agitated and aggressive” and was randomly shouting out numbers. Officers managed to open the door and saw the defendant was holding a knife and a wooden bat, and he told them: “This is going in someone”. One of the officers drew his Taser and shone the red laser sight of the weapon on the defendant – a technique known as “red dotting” – as he and his colleagues withdrew from the house. Armed officers and a trained negotiator were called for, and a three-hour standoff ensued with Jones having now barricaded himself into a different room in the house. Eventually, in the early hours of the following morning, armed officers broke down the door and forced entry to the room where Jones was holed up.
Terrence Campbell Jones, of Bwlch Road, Cimla, Neath, had previously pleaded guilty to arson and to assaulting an emergency worker when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has no previous convictions.
David Singh, for Jones, said the defendant’s mental health had been deteriorating, and he had little recollection of the events of the night.
The defendant then asked if he could address the court, and he told the judge he was “a respectable boy” who was firearm and martial art trained, and had been a bodyguard and had worked in “royal security and other security”.
Judge Jeremy Jenkins said only the defendant knew the reasons why he acted in the “bizarre” way he had on the night in question, but he said he had no doubt Jones’ mental health was “in difficulty”. He said the offenses committed by Jones were very serious, but after careful consideration of a pre-sentence report he was satisfied that a suspended sentence was the best option.
With credit for his guilty pleas Jones was sentenced to 14 months in prison suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to complete a rehabilitation course and a mental health treatment requirement.
From the dock the defendant asked the judge if he was “allowed to leave the country and go to a country I can’t be extradited from to get my head together” – the judge told him he had to complete the rehabilitation and mental health aspects of the sentence or it would be a breach, adding that he would be “very wise” to take the chance the court had just given him.
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