Police slam 'selfish criminal' over six-hour rooftop stand off

Police have welcomed the lengthy jail term handed down to a serial criminal who demanded cigarettes during a six-hour rooftop stand off.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 11:39 am
Updated Thursday, 5th September 2019, 13:12 pm

Leslie Podd was sentenced to 32 months in prison after climbing on the top of three-storey Manor House, off High Street, Easington Lane, and hurling roof tiles, guttering and brickwork on to the pavement below.

Police, armed officers, negotiators, ambulance crews and fire appliances were all called to the incident on October 31 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Podd, 42, of no fixed address, shouted: "Get negotiators, I want some fags, I'm Les Podd, I'm not coming down."

Leslie Podd climbed onto the roof of the three-storey building and pelted roof tiles and brickwork onto the pavement below, where a crowd had started to gather.

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He was locked up last week after admittingaffray and criminal damage as well as separate offences of assaulting his former partner and two counts of possessing a knife.

Detective Constable Mick Boyd, of Northumbria Police, has now said: “Leslie Podd is a serial criminal whose selfish actions caused a huge amount of disruption to the residents of Easington Lane.

“He spent six hours on the roof of the premises, causing significant damage to the roof, before pelting officers with the loose objects. He could easily have caused substantial injury to police or any member of the public who happened to be passing.

“Not only was his behaviour incredibly dangerous, but it also required a significant police response to ensure the safety of both himself and residents. Through his actions, he took resources off the streets and away from others who may have desperately needed a police response.

“He also disrupted the lives of local residents, some of whom lived in the building and were not able to enter for the duration of his criminal spree. There can be little doubt that Podd deserves the lengthy sentence handed down to him and he must now live with the consequences.

“I would like to thank members of the public in Easington Lane for their patience on the day of the stand-off, and hope this sends a message of how seriously we treat this type of disorder.”