Siege boyfriend wins cut to his sentence

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A DRUNK who brought about a lengthy stand-off with armed police after he drunkenly pointed an airgun at his girlfriend has had his prison sentence cut on appeal.

Tyran Mark Williams, aged 25, was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Sheffield Crown Court in January last year after he admitted possessing an offensive weapon and making threats to kill.

But lawyers for Williams, of Erskine Crescent, Arbourthorne, Sheffield, claimed his actions were out of character and caused by heavy drinking. Three senior judges, sitting at London’s Court of Appeal, cut William’s prison stretch to three-and-a-half years.

Lord Justice Elias told the court Williams had been in a relationship with Hayley Wood for around a year when he went out drinking in February last year.

He came back early the next morning and Miss Wood woke to find him standing over her bed with a gun. He told her, “I’m in control, I can blow your head off.”

Miss Wood managed to call the police before Williams grabbed her mobile phone and hung up. A police armed response unit arrived at the house, but Williams told them: “If you don’t leave I’ll kill her.”

After lengthy discussions with a police negotiator, Williams gave himself up and the gun was found to be an air pistol he had owned since he was a teenager.

The judge said Miss Wood has endured nightmares and stress since her ordeal, and now lacks confidence around other people.

Lawyers for Williams told judges his sentence was too long considering there was no history of violence between the couple, and he had no relevant previous convictions.

Lord Justice Elias, sitting with Mr Justice Mackay and Mr Justice Hickinbottom, agreed to cut one year from the sentence.

He told the court: “Bearing in mind the early plea, genuine remorse and the fact it was out of character and the first time he had been in prison, we think the overall sentence was too high.”

But he added: “The judge was fully entitled to say this was a very serious matter and should have been dealt with by a custodial sentence.

“There must have been real fear for some time in the mind of this complainant, when threats of this kind were made against her. Obviously, it is wholly unacceptable that this kind of conduct should be committed by a man against his partner.”