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Man, 30, spent hour on top of cinema throwing masonry at passers-by and cars
7:18pm Friday 9th May 2014 in News
A man who threw slates off the roof ofa derelict Bradford cinema has avoided jail due to his mental health problems.
Daniel Connolly, 30, of Great Horton Road, Bradford, spent an hour on the top of the former Odeon cinema, throwing tiles, slates and masonry down to the streets below.
Some of the slates he threw landed on a police car and a passer-by’s Saab, causing damage to a wing mirror on each of the vehciles.
Traffic was diverted and the area was cordoned off as Connolly laid siege from 9.15pm on March 30 this year.
Eventually, he left the roof and was arrested.
Prosecuting, Dale Brook said unemployed Connolly had been drinking all day before the incident and had attended a family meal, where he had an argument with his sister.
Connolly was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years, given a six-month, electronically-monitored curfew, handed a supervision order for 12 months and ordered to pay £690 in compensation to the driver of the Saab car he damaged on one charge of affray.
He was also given a one-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, for each of the three charges of criminal damage of which he was also found guilty.
But Connolly avoided jail after it was revealed he suffers from mental health problems and has a depressive disorder for which he is currently receiving medication, Bradford Crown Court heard.
Defending, Kam Dhesi, said: “He lost his job and spiralled into a period of despair and mental health difficulties – and even contemplated taking his own life.
He added: “He knows how serious these allegations are.”
Judge Jonathan Hall QC told Connolly: “You could have killed somebody.
“These offences are incredibly serious. All because you had a tiff with your sister.
“The simple reality is that if I locked you up it could cause you very grave harm. “This sentence is to help and punish you. “I know you have problems – a lot of people have problems, and don’t go onto the top of buildings and throw debris at members of the public.
“It prompts people to say that those who do it, unless they are really ill, are pathetic and hysterical.
“You have very real problems and are taking your medicine.”