Beds, Herts & Bucks

Marc McLees admits Leighton Buzzard fake gun stand-off

Marc McLees being arrested in Bridge Street, Leighton Buzzard
Image caption War veteran Marc McLees (centre) served in Iraq and Afghanistan

A man has pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation gun with intent to cause fear of violence following a five-hour siege in Leighton Buzzard.

Marc McLees, 42, sparked a major alert at his home in Bridge Street on 5 February.

The former soldier, appearing at Luton Crown Court, denied an additional charge of communicating false information about a bomb hoax.

Judge Barbara Mensah remanded him in custody for sentencing on 31 July.

Image caption An armed response team attended the stand-off in Bridge Street

Prosecutor Kevin West said the plea to the BB gun offence was acceptable and that he would ask for the bomb hoax charge to lie on file.

'Bizarre' behaviour

The police had been called to Bridge Street after the former solider had locked himself in his home and began throwing things out of the window. He made threats and police negotiators, along with an armed response team, attended.

After five hours, he was arrested and the BB gun, a type of air gun, was recovered.

Defence barrister Will Noble said: "This case has an abundance of mitigation. Mr McLees had an exceptional military career. He has no previous convictions and his behaviour was out of character and somewhat bizarre.

"It is clear he needs help and assistance for post traumatic stress disorder."

He said Mr McLees, who had served as a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan, was being helped by the Royal British Legion with the provision of a flat, therapy to combat stress, education and training as well as financial support.

Since being remanded to Bedford jail, he had been an exemplary prisoner, Mr Noble said.

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