Lanarkshire man avoids jail after seven-hour siege at dad’s home

A man who barricaded himself in his dad’s Hamilton home during a seven-hour siege has avoided jail.

More than 30 police officers, including trained negotiators, were called to the scene amid fears that Christopher Haig was going to set fire to the upstairs flat.

He armed himself with knives and made repeated threats to kill officers before surrendering and claiming to have had a “breakdown”.

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Haig, 38, of Lindum Street, Motherwell, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court this week.

He was placed under the supervision of social workers for two years.

Haig was also given a four-month electronic tagging order that bans him from leaving his home each night.

Sheriff Ray Small had considered sending him to jail, but after studying a criminal justice social work report decided that an alternative to custody was appropriate.

Haig admitted charges of threatening or abusive behaviour and police assault arising from the siege in Stonehall Avenue, Hamilton, on January 11 last year.

It happened the day before his 37th birthday.

Apart from the police officers, paramedics and firefighters were also deployed to the incident.

Sheriff Small commented: “This would have cost the public purse a fortune.”

An allegation that Haig sparked the trouble by assaulting his dad, Stuart, was dropped.

Abby Seal, prosecuting, said Haig senior alerted the police around 6pm and it was after midnight before his son finally gave himself up.

When officers arrived Christopher Haig was topless and he became “extremely aggressive”, telling them to leave and threatening to kill them.

He used a sofa and a chair to barricade the door and at one point went on to a window ledge and threatened to jump.

His dad had taken refuge at a neighbour’s house by this stage.

Haig refused to engage with police negotiators and continued to shout threats and abuse.

Concerns grew when he was seen holding a lighter and eventually police officers with riot shields gained entry to the flat.

Ms Seal told the court: “Haig armed himself with two knives and threatened to stab the officers.

“He threw the knives but these hit a shield. He picked up another two knives and threw them, again striking the shields.

“He also threw a vase and this also hit the shields.

“Eventually he surrendered and told officers ‘I had a breakdown. I’m sorry’.”

Defence agent Kevin Corr said Haig had been affected by a serious assault on him and his brother some years ago.

The solicitor added: “Clearly this is a serious matter and that is not lost on him.”

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Daily Record – Motherwell