A 30-year-old man who sparked an hour-long stand-off with police after climbing scaffolding around the Odeon cinema in Bradford city centre has been given a suspended prison sentence.
During the late evening drama Daniel Connolly hurled slates and masonry into the streets below and despite a cordon being set up around the cinema damage was caused to one of the police vehicles and a passing motorist’s car.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday how some of the slates landed just a few feet from officers and members of the public and although police tried to encourage Connolly come down he refused.
The incident in March came to an end after Connolly claimed to have fallen through two or three floors of the derelict premises.
Prosecutor Dale Brook said thankfully Connolly suffered only superficial injuries and he later explained that he had been drinking and the incident followed an argument with his sister.
Connolly, of Great Horton Road, Bradford, admitted charges of affray and criminal damage and was today/yesterday sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years.
The defendant, who has some mental health difficulties, was also made the subject of a six-month night-time curfew as well as 12-months supervision.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC described the incident as “incredibly serious” and said Connolly could have killed someone.
Lawyer Kam Dhesi, for Connolly, highlighted his client’s remorse over the offence and the judge accepted that the incident was out of character.
Connolly will have to pay £690 compensation to the driver of the Saab vehicle whose car was damaged during the incident.
Bradford Council is currently considering options for the former Odeon building, which has lain derelict for more than a decade.
Attempts to demolish the famous cinema, which staged concerts by the Beatles among others in its day, ended in failure.