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Wales Street siege: Man jailed after he threatened to ‘stab’ officers with machete

Police at the scene of the stand-off in Wales Street, Aberdeen.
Police at the scene of the stand-off in Wales Street, Aberdeen.

A man who provoked a seven-hour police siege in Aberdeen has been jailed after he told officers he would “stab them in the neck” with a machete.

Jamie Selfridge, 33, barricaded himself inside a flat on the city’s Wales Street on Sunday, prompting the marathon stand-off involving police and firearms officers.

Today he appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted his involvement in the incident.

The court was told Selfridge threatened officers at the scene, telling them to back off from the door as he had a machete and a knife in his possession.

A serious incident was immediately declared and police tactical units and negotiators cordoned off the block of flats at around 8.30am yesterday.

He eventually surrendered sometime after 3pm.

Selfridge, who has a string of previous convictions for theft and assault, was on a supervised release order from prison at the time.

He pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at the Wales Street flat and also of assaulting two Spar workers on Rosemount Viaduct on January 3 this year.

He told one of the shop workers he was “getting killed tonight”.

Police cordoned off Wales Street while the incident was ongoing.

Fiscal depute Tom Proctor told the court that as tactical officers stood outside the flat, Selfridge threatened to stab officers in the neck.

Officers had initially visited the flat to serve Selfridge with a warrant but got no response however could hear noises inside.

“They deemed it appropriate for forced entry and snapped the external lock of the door. They then heard the accused stating that if any door opened he would stab the officer that came in,” Mr Proctor said.

“The police officers retreated and requested backup and a negotiation commenced, whereby the threats to assault officers continued.

“Further police officers arrived and further threats were made to stab officers in the neck.

“The accused advised officers that he was in possession of a machete and a knife – and began banging an object against the door.”

Police declared a firearms incident and further officers were dispatched to Wales Street as negotiations with Selfridge continued.

Those negotiations took seven hours but he did finally surrender.

‘He had no weapons and was banging on door with a Pringles packet’

Defence agent Ian Woodward-Nutt told the court that the background to this offence and Selfridge’s previous convictions was the misuse of alcohol.

He also claimed that the object that officers could hear his client banging against the door was not a machete but a packet of Pringles.

“He accepts and describes himself as an alcoholic”, Mr Woodward-Nutt said.

“He had been staying at a friend’s flat when police arrived yesterday and was woken by the sound of the property being seemingly broken into.

“Mr Selfridge’s position is that no attempt was made by the officers coming through the door to identify themselves.

“His initial reaction was in response to the scare that he received.

Police surrounded the Wales Street flats

“When he eventually realised that these were police officers he continued to make what were empty threats – but except that in doing so he took up a significant amount of police time and resources.

“He had no weapons on him and he tells me that he was banging on the door with an empty packet of Pringles.”

Sheriff Graham Buchanan told Selfridge: “You have correctly realised that against that background of previous convictions and the seriousness of these offences that a prison sentence is inevitable.”

He sentenced Selfridge, of Jasmine Terrace, Aberdeen, to serve the 16 months that were remaining on his sentence when he was released from prison.

A further six-month prison sentence was imposed in response to the police siege.

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