Pair jailed after stand-off with armed police at cafe near Berwick

Two men broke into the cafe in Scremerston in Northumberland and refused to come out for six hours

Cafe @Marshalls, at Scremerston, which was the scene of an armed raid
Cafe @Marshalls, at Scremerston, which was the scene of an armed raid

Two men have been jailed after they broke into a cafe and sparked a six-hour stand-off with armed police.

Barry Kirsopp and Dean Thompson were drunk and had taken “fake valium” when they burgled Cafe@Marshalls, at Scremerston, near Berwick, in Northumberland, on August 12.

They had broken a window to get in and refused to come out when officers arrived at the scene.

Kirsopp armed himself with two knives and also made a spear out of a broomstick. Threats were made towards police, who were outside the premises from around 12.30am to 6.30am.

The men eventually came out with arms in the air and were arrested.

Yesterday, Kirsopp, 21, of no fixed abode, and Thompson, 20, of Adams Drive, Spittal, Berwick, pleaded guilty to burglary and affray at Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Kevin Ward­­law said damage was caused to the cafe’s stock, till drawer, window and glass partition.

The court heard that the only explanation offered for the break-in came from Thompson, who said they were hungry and “fancied a piece of quiche”.

Ian O’Rourke, defending, said: “The defendants were walking along the A1 and came to the attention of a passing police vehicle because Mr Kirsopp was falling along the carriageway.

“In Scremerston, there is a camping and sports equipment shop that has a cafe next door. That’s where the officers found them at about 12.30am.

“It was a joint enterprise but both had slightly different roles. Mr Kirsopp was making threats and held up two knives and the broomstick.

“It escalated. They were encircled by armed pol­ice, dog units and vast numbers of officers. At 6.30am, they posted two knives through the letterbox, came out of the premises with their hands held high and were arrested.

“This was not planned in any way. Neither of them were equipped for burglary, all the weapons they picked up inside the property. The offences are aggravated by the fact that both of them took drink and drugs that night.”

Kirsopp, who had eight previous convictions, including burglary and theft, was given a three-year prison sentence, while Thompson was jailed for nearly two years.

Passing sentence, Rec­order Paul Camp told Kirsopp: “You played a major part in these off­ences. You armed yourself with knives and made a spear out of a broomstick.

“I have read your report, which speaks highly of you. It says you are capable, thoughtful and intelligent. The picture emerges of someone who, when not intoxicated, is a hard-working and reasonable man.

“But the combination of drink and drugs turns you into a different person. This was without a doubt a very serious incident of public disorder.”

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