Man wanted police to shoot him dead

A SUICIDAL man who sparked an eight-hour armed siege in the hope police marksmen would shoot him has been jailed for three years.Police and paramedics were called to Exning Road, Newmarket, after Richard Horrex fired an air rifle from an upstairs window at his home at a passing taxi driver.

A SUICIDAL man who sparked an eight-hour armed siege in the hope police marksmen would shoot him has been jailed for three years.

Police and paramedics were called to Exning Road, Newmarket, after Richard Horrex fired an air rifle from an upstairs window at his home at a passing taxi driver.

A pellet had hit the windscreen of Paul Carlton's taxi, and when he had got out of his vehicle to complain, Horrex pointed the air rifle at him and fired another shot, Richard Kelly, prosecuting, told Ipswich Crown Court,

Mr Carlton was hit in the stomach and, crouching down, struggled to stagger back to his taxi, when 55-year-old Horrex fired the rifle at him again.

The injured taxi driver managed to drive 150 yards down the road and alerted the emergency services.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene were also fired at by Horrex as they tried to tend Mr Carlton's wound by the roadside. None of the pellets hit the crew, although the ambulance was damaged.

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At one stage Mr Carlton and the ambulance crew had to run round the side of the ambulance to take cover from the shots. They then attempted to keep other people out of the area.

Armed police arrived at the scene and a siege lasting eight hours had followed.

Officers wearing body armour and carrying shields surrounded Horrex's house, but he continued firing shots at police vehicles, causing damage.

Mr Kelly said during the siege Horrex had alternated between shouting abuse at the officers and then calling the police negotiator “mate”. Horrex appeared from his house and told a neighbour that the police were going to shoot him, and asked the neighbour to look after his dog.

Eventually, Horrex came outside and was arrested after an armed officer fired a rubber bullet at him.

Greg Perrins, mitigating, said Horrex suffered from depression, had alcohol abuse problems and financial worries.

On the day in question Horrex had seen a picture of his former wife with her new husband in a newspaper and it had “tipped him over the edge”.

Mr Perrins added: “He didn't want to injure anyone. He wanted to end his own life and thought the best way to do that was to provoke the police into shooting him.”

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