A man suffering a drug-fuelled mental health episode was involved in a five-hour stand-off with police in a stranger’s home, a court heard.

Paul Anthony Kailofer, who was armed with a knife, barricaded himself into the attic of a house in Shildon, and threatened to set light to pieces of loft insulation.

Durham Crown Court heard that he entered the property in Auckland Terrace, while in possession of the knife, going in via the insecure front door at about 3pm.

Caroline McGurk, prosecuting, said the female householder was present with a child at the time.

The Northern Echo: Paul Kailofer received a two-year prison sentence following a five-hour stand-off with police while

Kailofer confronted the woman on the landing of the house and, conscious her daughter was near the bedroom door and fearing for her safety, she told him to leave.

Miss McGurk said the woman could not be sure if the defendant told her to either, “call the police”, or, “don’t call the police”.

Kailofer slightly turned his back and pulled the knife from his pocket as if to show her he was in possession of it at the time, as a threatening gesture.

Terrified that Kailofer may hurt her daughter, she took her downstairs and rang the police, who told her to barricade themselves into the living room.

Kailofer could be heard making loud banging noises upstairs causing damage by making numerous holes in the upstairs ceiling.

He pushed large amounts of insulation material through the holes he had made, while blood from his face was later found on doors, walls and skirting boards.

Police arrived at the house to find the woman had suffered a panic attack.

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The house was cordoned off and a trained negotiator was used to try to talk the defendant down, and to try to persuade him not to carry out his threats to set light to the insulating material.

Police also blocked off the street to allow the officers present and the fire service to oversee the incident unhindered.

It was only several hours later that police confirmed Kailofer had surrendered and was taken into custody.

The 29-year-old defendant, of Dalton Crescent, Shildon, was charged with having a bladed article, a kitchen knife, in Auckland Terrace, damaging property and threatening to damage or destroy property in the loft of the house.

He appeared before magistrates on December 29 and the case was sent to the crown court.

When he first appeared before the crown court, by video link from custody, no charges were put to him as it was uncertain if he was considered fit to plead.

David Callan, representing Kailofer, sought the assessment as the defendant had acted “in a paranoid manner”, with no other apparent reason for him to behave as he did that day.

A trial date was fixed for June this year, but at a further hearing, last month, the court heard the defendant was assessed as fit enough to plead.

He admitted all three charges and the case was adjourned for sentence at the court on Friday (May 10).

The sentencing hearing was told he was suffering mental health issues and was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the incident.

See more court stories from The Northern Echo, by clicking here

Shildon man admits charges after stand-off in house loft

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Man who barricaded himself in Shildon house is charged

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Imposing a two-year prison sentence, Recorder Richard Wright KC also put in place a restraining order to offer some reassurance to the householder whose home the incident took place in.

The order, prohibiting the defendant from approaching or contacting the woman or her child, will run “indefinitely”, in effect, for life.

Recorder Wright also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the knife, while the defendant must pay a £187 statutory court surcharge upon his release from prison.