Rotherham Town Hall siege man avoids jail sentence

A man is arrested and led out of Rotherham Town Hall

A man is arrested and led out of Rotherham Town Hall

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A man who barricaded himself inside Rotherham Town Hall in a 10-hour armed siege has avoided prison – and been handed a two-month curfew.

Conan Lucas, aged 36, broke into the town hall on July 25 and caused £7,000 of damage during his lock-in.

He eventually left the building of his own accord, topless and covered in blood, and he was arrested.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Rotherham Council staff were alerted when Lucas broke into the building and set the alarms off.

A member of staff went to the town hall and heard someone moving around inside, and saw signs of forced entry.

Police were called and the incident turned into a full-scale response involving police cars, riot vans, fire engines, ambulance responders and other emergency support units.

The whole town hall site had to be taped off.

Lucas, of Parkin Court, Ravensfield, Rotherham, barricaded himself in the post room of the town hall and stayed there for hours.

The court was told Lucas – diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia – could be heard talking in ‘two distinct voices’ despite being the only person in the room.

Rotherham Council said damage caused to the building was £7,041, while fire, police and ambulance services spent a collective total of 572 hours at the incident.

The court was told Lucas has suffered ‘instability’ in his accommodation as well as amphetamine use and was already under curfew.

Sentencing him, the judge Recorder Dean Kershaw told Lucas: “You could have received a custodial sentence for this.

“In reality the loser in this case is the taxpayer.

“I don’t feel it is appropriate to make an order for costs.

“If you breach the curfew, you know there is probably one direction – and that will be to be locked up.”

Lucas, who pleaded not guilty to aggravated burglary but guilty to criminal damage, was given a 12-month community order with a two month curfew from 7pm to 6am.

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