Knaphill police shooting man jailed

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By mattcollison | Thursday, November 29, 2012, 15:16

A MAN shot by an armed policeman after threatening to shoot officers and blow up his Woking home with a bomb has been jailed.

Richard John Pell, 41, appeared at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday (November 29) where he was jailed for four years.

The court heard how at 10pm on July 25, Pell  provoked a response by an armed police unit after claiming he had a gun and bomb at his home in Oak Tree Road, Knaphill.

Ruby Selva, prosecuting, described how the siege was sparked by an argument over a packet of missing biscuits.

She said Pell returned home from the pub intoxicated and became angry and aggressive after his sister-in-law asked him where her mother's biscuits were.

He locked himself in his bedroom and soon after sent a text message to his sister-in-law stating he had made a bomb.

The sister-in-law went to Woking Police Station to report the threats and at 9.55pm Pell dialled 999.

He told the operator: "I've got a bomb in my house and a gun, I'm going kill anyone that comes in."

The call was traced and an armed patrol was sent to Pell's address.

Officers were given false information that he had been a former Royal Marine and had been discharged after suffering a brain injury.

Pell emerged from the house brandishing a BB gun painted to imitate a firearm. He then took a "shooting stance" 20 yards from armed police and aimed it at them. 

An armed officer then fired a shot at Pell causing him to fall to the ground.

Ms Selva said: "Believing his life and his colleagues lives were in danger he discharged one shot of his firearm and that lodged in the defendant's upper leg.

"The defendant then fell to the ground disappearing from view.

"Other officers then shouted: 'what's that? gunfire?' The officer shouted: 'I shot him.'"

The officer who shot Pell then attended to him, explaining what had happened and stemming the bleeding. He waited with him until an ambulance crew arrived.

David Castle, defending, said Pell had suffered from a depressive illness ever since his wife was murdered by a homeless man in London in 2001.

During police interview Pell said he felt upset and guilty that he had forgotten the anniversary of her death three days before the siege.

He told police he had wanted them to shoot him in the head so he could join his dead wife. 

When he was asked about the bomb threat he told officers he did not know how to make one and that he was more a danger to himself than anyone else.

Pell, who now walks with a zimmer frame and had to be assisted to and from the courtroom, nodded from the dock as Judge Christopher Critchlow spoke of the seriousness of his crimes.

Judge Critchlow said: "It has, of course, resulted in you receiving a shot from a police officer and I am quite satisfied from what I've read that in your state at the time it was your intention to provoke an armed response from police officers."

He continued: "It appears you wanted them to shoot to kill in the hope that they might kill you because of your mental condition."

Pell was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment for the bomb hoax offence and to 40 months for possessing the BB gun with the intention of causing fear of violence.

He was told he will serve one half of that term.


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