Senior given ‘time served’ for standoff
A senior who admitted throwing a corrosive liquid at police in a seven-hour stand-off escaped a jail sentence yesterday.
James Dallas, 71, who was released from custody in November last year after nine months in jail, was sentenced in the Supreme Court to ten months' imprisonment.
But Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe said Dallas's time already spent in prison was enough punishment.
He said: “No doubt this offence is a serious one. However, I see no reason to incarcerate Mr Dallas any more than the nine months which he already spent in custody.”
Dallas admitted on November 19 to four counts of throwing a corrosive fluid with intent to resist arrest, as he faced down police at the old prison service headquarters on Happy Valley Road in Pembroke.
He also admitted trespassing on the property and the use of threatening language.
The incident happened on March 28, 2019.
The court heard that he earlier refused to leave when ordered by police and threw a liquid through a window at several officers.
He barricaded himself inside the building and warned: “I will kill any police that tries to enter the building. Someone will die today.”
Police forced their way into the building several hours later after negotiations with Dallas collapsed.
Dallas again threw liquid at officers and hit two, but no one was injured. He was detained and arrested.
The court heard that Dallas claimed the former headquarters was built by his grandparents and that he had ownership rights to the property.
Dallas was remanded in custody after he appeared in Magistrates' Court on April 1 last year.
He was released on $5,000 bail after his Supreme Court appearance last November and Mr Justice Wolffe ordered a mental health assessment and a social inquiry report.
Mr Justice Wolffe also ordered Dallas to stay away from the old prison service building and the police officer complainants. Karen Dean, for the Crown, said yesterday a sentence of nine to 12 months' imprisonment was appropriate.
But she added: “We would hate to see him go back inside.”
Ms Dean also requested that Dallas, who was homeless at the time of the offence, should be placed on probation, which would ensure he would have to find a fixed address.
But Charles Richardson, for the defence, said that his client had found a place to stay with a friend.
He added: “If he wanted that type of assistance, there are other agencies he could go to instead of being bound by a probation order to have his own place at this time.”
Mr Richardson added that Dallas not been near the building where the assaults happened since he had been released from prison.
Mr Justice Wolffe said that he was confident that Dallas would stay out of trouble, given the decline of his “seeming fixation on the property”.
But he warned Dallas: “I already said that your risk of reoffending is very low — don't make me bite my words.”
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