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Jail for Inverness man who barricaded himself in house for three hours

By Ali Morrison

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A siege at an Inverness property attended by firearms officers led to a six month jail term being imposed on a man.

Alexander Stewart (35) told officers he had armed himself with a knife during the early morning stand-off at Lilac Grove in the Dalneigh area of Inverness on February 29.

He then set up a barricade and kept police at bay as they they tried to arrest him.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that police finally entered the property just after 5am and found Stewart upstairs, where he threatened to stab them.

Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald was told Stewart, whose address in court papers was c/o HMP Inverness, lunged at them and Pava spray was deployed in case he was holding a weapon.

He then smashed a vase and lunged at them again, with a shard of glass, before barricading himself in a bedroom.

Fiscal depute Niall Macdonald said he continued making threats and armed officers, an ambulance and trained negotiators were summoned to the scene.

Stewart surrendered two hours later, but the threats towards police and himself continued.

Claiming to have taken an overdose he was taken to Raigmore Hospital, but refused treatment.

While being taken out of A&E, he bit a constable on the arm.

This officer then required injections to prevent any infection because Stewart refused to provide a blood sample for analysis.

A total of 25 emergency service personnel were on the scene until the siege ended, the fiscal said.

Stewart admitted breach of the peace and police assault.

Defence solicitor John MacColl said that a psychological report on Stewart revealed mental health problems, saying that substance abuse and a difficult childhood were at the heart of his offending.

He said there was now intervention and robust psychological treatment which would be put in place on his client's release from custody.

The court was told that Stewart is already the subject of a drug treatment and testing order for other offences, which would continue after his release from prison.

Mr MacColl added: "There is room for cautious optimism for the future."

Sentencing Stewart, Sheriff Macdonald said only a custodial sentence would be appropriate though the sentence was a lenient one, taking account of the detail conatined in the background reports.

"But your behaviour was very violent, alarming and frightening and you engaged the emergency services for three hours and deprived them from doing their real work," she said.

"This was all of your own making."

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