Axe wielding man in stand-off incident

Court news
Court news

A police ‘armed response unit’ was called to deal with a stand-off incident at a Portadown address after a 37-year-old man brandished an axe at officers who arrived at the scene.

Ronald Gary Lutton, Killycomain Drive, Portadown, had admitted possession of an offensive weapon, a long handled axe, on May 3 this year and common assault on a female.

The case was adjourned until last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court to obtain a pre-sentence report.

The court heard that at around 10.30pm a 999 call was received from an address in Portadown.

When police called back a female answered and wanted police assistance. When they arrived she was standing at the front door.

She had been told to get out of the property by the defendant who was intoxicated and had an axe in his hand.

He got into her face and she was in fear of being assaulted by him. Lutton told her he would kill her if she called the police.

There was a stand off for about 30 minutes as he walked up and down the hallway brandishing the axe and an armed response unit had to be called.

A solicitor representing Lutton said the couple had an 18 year relationship and nothing like this ever happened before.

The defendant was so heavily intoxicated that he couldn’t remember anything and thought his drink may have been spiked.

He added that it was clear Lutton had brandished this article but he did not make an attempt to hit anyone with it.

The solicitor said his client’s last relevant conviction involving assault was 13 years ago and not in a domestic setting.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said this suggested a natural capacity for violence.

The solicitor said that Lutton was extremely sorry for his actions and had abstained from drinking since this incident.

“Until the next drink fuelled episode,” said Judge Kelly.

She told Lutton this was a very grave matter that he had armed himself with an axe and despite the presence of police officers that did not deter him.

The judge added that with four children upstairs in their beds he behaved like this and had no understanding of how this could have impacted on them and his partner.

For each of the two charges she sentenced him to four months in prison which she suspended for three years.