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booze fuelled Drunk Irishman shouted 'tiocfaidh ar la' and called police officers ‘English c***s’ during stand-off

The incident 'intended to maximize fear and distress both for your petrified neighbour and the police who attended the scene'

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Mark Pepper

Mark Pepper

Mark Pepper

A man described as a “drunken Irishman” repeatedly shouted the Republican slogan 'Tiocfaidh ar la' while calling police officers ‘English c***s’ during a tense stand-off outside his house in England, a court has heard. 

Mark Pepper also threatened to cause a “bloodbath” if police officers entered the property in Bishop Auckland, Durham that he claimed he had booby-trapped.

Durham Crown Court heard that officers arrived at the house, in Cumberland Street on June 28, after Pepper made threats to his next-door neighbour.

Pepper was seen in the house striking himself on the head, and apparently drinking from a bottle of bleach, while threatening to cut his throat with scissors.

Ellen Wright, prosecuting, said that at one stage officers were forced to retreat to a safe distance as Pepper was seen with what appeared to a gun with which he threatened to shoot them.

Specialist firearm officers attended, but Pepper claimed the property was booby-trapped and he would cause an explosion.

He also doused the curtains with vodka and placed a rag in a bottle as if making a petrol bomb, while shouting 'Tiocfaidh ar la.'

Ms Wright said that on their second attempt, firearms officers entered the property carrying shields and tasers and found Pepper under a duvet on a bedroom floor, where he was arrested at 1.10am.

They also recovered a black replica gun.

The 43-year-old defendant admitted possessing an imitation firearm and affray.

Miss Wright said his 50 past offences, include seven each for public disorder and threatening police.

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Neil Jones, for Pepper, said he didn’t know he had committed any offence as the mist descended through a vodka-fuelled incident.

However, he later made immediate admissions, was remorseful, and decided to “reform himself.”

“Under caution he said he probably, ‘played up a bit’, and heard voices in his head when he consumed alcohol," Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones said Pepper was on medication but had not always been able to access it during the Covid period.

This was particularly the case after he found accommodation in Bishop Auckland, having previously been homeless in the Midlands.

Recorder David Gordon told Pepper it was, a "prolonged incident”, during which he, “intended to maximize fear and distress both for your petrified neighbour and the police who attended the scene” as he imposed a 30-month prison sentence.

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