South East Wales

Facebook 'live murder' taunt: Chepstow siege man Greg Searle jailed for two years

A 35-year-old man who claimed he was going to commit a "live murder on Facebook" during an eight-hour police siege has been jailed for two years.

Greg Searle posted messages on the website as armed police surrounded his home last August.

The siege ended when police stormed the house and discovered his gun was a fake, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Searle, of Chepstow, Monmouthshire, admitted affray and threatening police with an imitation firearm.

The court heard that Searle's mother called police after he began to act strangely.

"Four officers arrived at Searle's house to find him leaning out of the window pointing the gun at them," said prosecutor David Elias.

"He was shouting incomprehensibly and they took cover and called for an armed response team."

The specialist unit arrived in bulletproof vests and attempted to negotiate with Searle.

The court heard that Searle told his 400 Facebook friends: "I give you live murder on Facebook.

"Bet you sick freaks can't wait for me to make my move so you can watch."

At one stage Searle updated his page to say: "I've left my grenade somewhere, I think it's still in the car."

Armed police at Greg Searle's home in Chepstow
Armed police surrounded Searle's home in Chepstow during the siege in August 2011

Karl Williams, defending, said the incident was a cry for help due to psychological problems Searle was suffering.

"He has been on mood-altering medication since his arrest and there have been no further problems but he may need more treatment," said Mr Williams.

Judge Rhys Rowlands told Searle he had pointed a handgun at officers who were close enough to see his finger around the trigger.

"They took cover behind a wall.

"These officers had no idea this was an imitation firearm," he said.

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