A north man who threatened to set fire to his home and burn himself and police alive has been jailed for 27 months.
Armed officers were scrambled to John McDonald’s house in Easter Ross twice in a fortnight last summer after he barricaded himself in.
The sieges at Parkland Place in Balintore – on July 16 and August 1 – lasted a total of nine hours and involved 29 police officers, four fire crews and three ambulances.
Yesterday at Inverness Sheriff Court, the 41-year-old received his sentence, backdated to August 2.
He had previously admitted two charges of threatening behaviour.
His neighbours had to be evacuated from their homes as McDonald poured petrol on the property, brandished a knife and threw a television set at police.
Defence solicitor Shahid Latif told the court that his client accepted a jail sentence was inevitable.
He added that the explanation lay “in a traumatic event which befell him at the age of five which has left a lasting legacy and low esteem.
“He fills the void by the use of alcohol. Much of his adult life has been spent in an alcoholic fugue and although he will be deprived of that in prison, he will not get the psychological help he needs.”
Fiscal depute Robert Weir told Sheriff Margaret Neilson of the first incident when police were called to the home McDonald shared with his 63 year old mother, Brenda, following concern for his welfare.
Officers could hear him shouting and swearing inside and managed to get him to come to the back door where he had bursts of anger.
He then barricaded himself in and the street was evacuated when McDonald poured petrol on to the outside of the house and curtains, shouting he would burn the officers and himself alive.
Mr Weir said after around six hours of negotiations, McDonald eventually gave himself up.
But two weeks later, the emergency services returned to Parkland Place when Mrs McDonald called police after an angry confrontation with her son about the untidy state of her house.
When officers tried to talk to him, he brandished a knife and paint scraper at them before again barricading himself inside.
Mr Weir went on: “Officers kept a safe distance, tried to negotiate with him and cordoned off the street.
“Armed police then arrived but his violent behaviour continued, throwing items out of the windows, including a pole, a dart and a television set, before smashing a window, showering the officers with shards of glass.”