People fled in panic and fear as a man hurled slates and masonry from the roof of Bradford’s former Odeon building, a court heard.

Police were also targets as Daniel Michael Connolly spent an hour on top of the building flinging debris down to the streets below.

Traffic had to be diverted and the area cordoned off as Connolly occupied the roof.

Eventually, the 30-year-old left the roof, falling through several floors of the delapidated building as he did so.

At Bradford Magistrates Court yesterday, Connolly, of Great Horton Road, Bradford, pleaded guilty to three charges of criminal damage and one of affray. He was committed to the Crown Court for sentence.

His solicitor Kam Dhesi said: “This was very serious and the powers of this court might not be sufficient for sentence.”

Prosecuting, Mr Paul Ramsey said the offences took place at 9.15pm on Sunday, March 30. He said the defendant got on to the roof of the Odeon, removed tiles, slates and masonry and started throwing them down to the path below.

“People below congregated, wondering what was going on and police were called,” he said.

Officers arrived and stopped traffic with their own vehicles to create a diversion.

“The defendant threw slates at police,” said Mr Ramsey. “People began to panic in fear, running into the road and so causing further danger.”

When police shouted at Connolly to come down, he swore aggressively at them and threw slates.

Items hit a police car and that of a member of the public who was driving by. The Saab driver saw falling debris coming from the roof and some of it hit his vehicle.

Connolly left the roof and was arrested near a fire exit. As he descended, he fell through a number of floors, but was not badly hurt.

Mr Ramsey said Connolly had previous convictions for violence and dishonesty.

The magistrates agreed they had insufficient sentencing powers and committed Connolly to Crown Court for sentence on May 9. He was remanded on unconditional bail.