Man is fined after five-hour rooftop drama

Dramatic scenes: Joseph Gregory gestures from the top of the Teanlowe Centre, in Poulton

Dramatic scenes: Joseph Gregory gestures from the top of the Teanlowe Centre, in Poulton

A man who threatened to jump off a shopping centre roof has been fined after a judge heard how he tied up numerous emergency service personnel for five hours.

As reported in yesterday’s Gazette, the man, Joseph Gregory, threatened to hurl himself from the Teanlowe Centre, Blackpool Old Road, Poulton, on Sunday.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard that it was because he wanted to see his young son.

Numerous police officers, two police negotiators, ambulance and firefighter crews were called to the scene on Sunday at 6.15am.

Gregory, 23, of Argyle Road, Poulton, pleaded guilty to breach of the peace and was bound over in the sum of £200 for 12 months by District Judge Alan Jones, who was sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

The judge told Gregory: “This was a serious incident which went on a long time, inconvenienced a lot of people and incurred costs.

“Acting as you did is not going to help you.”

Alison Quanbrough, prosecuting, said Gregory was pacing about the roof of the two-storey shopping centre threatening to throw himself off head first if he did not see his son. He repeatedly swore and said he had not seen his son for four months.

His sister was brought to talk to him. After a five-hour stand off, Gregory said he was climbing down. Once arrested, Gregory said he had been drinking and had had several lines of cocaine.

The prosecutor added: “Numerous police officers, two police negotiators, ambulance and fire crews were tied up for hours to ensure this man’s safety.”

David Charnley, defending, said his client was on a restraining order which had banned him from seeing the boy’s mother. The defence added that Gregory had been advised to make an application at the county court over access to his son.

The Gazette told yesterday how onlookers had been shocked as Gregory was seen on top of the roof.

One worker in Market Place, Poulton, said: “It was a bit of a shock. Normally it is quite peaceful around here on a Sunday morning but it was anything but today.”


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