A MAN from Grantham phoned police on the day of an armed police siege at Sutton St James to say he was pleased an officer had been shot in the head and that “a lot more people should go around doing this sort of thing”.
Louis Woodward, 22, was referring to the incident late on the morning of January 31, whereby a single shot was fired at the window of a police patrol car and a bullet was found lodged in the mouth of a police officer.
Armed police surrounded a house at Sutton St James and the occupier, Barry Horspool (61), was found dead in an upstairs room, ending an 11-hour armed siege.
Woodward’s call was taken by an operator who had just come on shift and wasn’t aware an officer had been injured in a gun incident until she later spoke to a colleague, Spalding magistrates heard.
Rebecca Ritson, prosecuting at Spalding Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, said Woodward opened by saying he was aware an officer had been seriously injured in the Holbeach area.
He then said: “I hope a lot more people go around doing this sort of thing.”
Woodward told the operator: “What goes around comes around,” and then said: “I just want to let you know how pleased I am.”
When the operator asked Woodward if he wanted to comment on a more formal basis – and she could get an inspector to ring him back – he said ‘yes’ and volunteered his name, address and phone numbers.
Woodward again told the operator: “I am referring to the officer that’s almost had his head blown off.”
Miss Ritson said the operator was distressed by the call, saying Woodward spoke clearly and “seemed to relish and enjoy what he said”.
Woodward, of Queen Street, Grantham, pleaded guilty to making a grossly offensive call from West Road, Bourne, to police on January 31.
Sentence was adjourned to Tuesday, March 13, for a probation report to be prepared.
Solicitor Nen Stasojevic, mitigating, described Woodward’s phone call as an act of the “greatest folly” and “immense stupidity”.
Mr Stasojevic continued: “Mr Woodward is no stranger to contact with the police. He perceives that, rightly or wrongly I don’t know, that he has been ill-treated by the police in the past. Obviously that is no excuse for his behaviour and it is his behaviour that brings him before the court.”
Since the offence, Woodward has been referred to a psychiatrist.
Mr Stasojevic said: “He is on medication, things are improving. He is looking forward to starting employment as an architect/surveyor.”
Presiding magistrate Peter Dolby told Woodward: “It was unpleasant, distasteful and caused the officer who took the call some distress.”