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18th Sep, 2021

Drunken man threatened to infect police with hepatitis during stand-off

Editorial Correspondent 16th Feb, 2018 Updated: 16th Feb, 2018

A DRUNKEN man was involved in a 45-minute stand-off with police in Stratford during which he threatened to infect them with a syringe he claimed was infected with hepatitis.

Phil Hulme also had a machete, with which he said he had intended to take his own life, during the late-night incident in the centre of town, a judge has heard.

The 37 year-old, who is from Stratford but of no fixed address, was jailed for eight months after pleading guilty to possessing a bladed article and threatening behaviour.

Warwick Crown Court heard the charges arose out of an incident in Sheep Street, which began at around 10.20pm on January 21.

Passers-by had alerted the police after seeing Hulme, previously of Evesham Place, with what was described as a machete or a billhook.

But when officers arrived and tried to approach him, he began threatening them and said he had a syringe of blood infected with hepatitis B, with which he would infect them.

And it was only after a 45-minute stand-off that the officers were able to arrest Hulme.

Kate Hatton, defending, conceded: “His best mitigation is his guilty plea. He fully acknowledges the circumstances were dangerous.

“He says his possession of the machete was with the intention of taking his own life, not with the intention of causing harm to the police officers or members of the public.

Miss Hatton explained Hulme had been released from a prison sentence, imposed for breaching a restraining order, on January 4 to find his home had been burgled.

“All his worldly possessions had been taken from him. They were not much, but they included the possessions of his deceased brother.”

She added for a time drugs were his ‘pain relief,’ but he took refuge on the streets to avoid drugs because his home had been turned into a crack den by others.

And on the day of the incident, he felt the only way out was to take his own life, but he now wanted to move on.

Jailing Hulme, Recorder Stuart Sprawson told him: “You were not only threatening harm to yourself, but when the police arrived you made threats to them.

“People who make threats in that situation cause the risk that people will try to disarm you and that you will behave irrationally and someone will be injured.

“I am quite satisfied this case does cross the custody threshold. But once you had calmed down and relented and you were interviewed, you showed remorse.”

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