Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Father jailed over Portsmouth shop knife siege

Commercial Road Portsmouth
Image caption Shoppers were evacuated from the area and the street was cordoned off

A man who threatened shop workers with a knife because his child had been taken into care has been jailed.

Armed police surrounded the Virgin Media store in Portsmouth in October when Tobias Maylott began brandishing a seven-inch (17cm) kitchen knife.

The incident led to a siege and part of the city being cordoned off.

Maylott, 21, of no fixed address, was jailed for 27 months for affray, making threats with a knife, common assault and breaching a suspended sentence.

The suspended sentence related to a previous siege situation at a residential property.

'Bomb waiting to go off'

Prosecutors described how on 31 October, Maylott began waving the knife in a "fast, manically and aggressive manner" and threw a bottle of alcohol hand wash at a customer who challenged him, cutting their head.

Portsmouth Crown Court was told shop worker Lewis Coles managed to hide in a staff toilet and held the door with his hands and feet as Maylott tried to get in.

Police entered the shop 20 minutes later and rescued Mr Coles but it took police negotiators a further three hours to persuade Maylott to come down from the loft where he had hidden.

During the incident, Maylott was heard shouting demands at staff to give him his child back.

Prosecutor Martyn Booth said Maylott had told police he had become paranoid after taking cannabis, which made him upset about his child being taken into care.

Robert Forrest, defending, said Maylott's mother had written to the court saying her son "was a bomb waiting to go off".

Judge Roger Hetherington said the defendant had a "history of substance misuse".

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