Armed police and negotiators called to Leeds tower block after knife-man attacked his girlfriend and set fire to his flat

Armed police had to force their way into a flat at a tower block in Leeds after a man attacked his girlfriend then made knife-threats to officers who were called to the scene.

Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 4:45 pm

Alan Falkingham barricaded himself inside his home at Gledhow Towers and started a fire during the incident in the early hours of June 8 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard the 49-year-old was drunk when he attacked his partner of three years during a row over drugs.

Graham O'Sullivan, prosecuting, said Falkingham followed the woman from his flat and slapped her to the back of the head before pushing her to the ground.

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Gledhow Towers

The defendant then took the victim's mobile phone from her and returned to his flat.

The woman went back to the flat and argued with Falkingham as she tried to get her phone back.

Police were contacted and saw Falkingham at the window holding a large kitchen knife.

The defendant said to them: "The first person to come through this door, I swear, I'm going to stab them."

Mr O'Sullivan said armed officers were then sent to the tower block as Falkingham has a history of violence towards police.

Falkingham also dialled 999 and told an operator he would stab anyone who came into his home.

Police negotiators were called to the scene in a bid to persuade the defendant to give himself up.

Falkingham also piled up items inside the property and set it alight.

Officers forced their way inside after Falkingham threatened to stab himself and began making noises as if he was in pain.

He was arrested and placed in a police van but repeatedly banged his head against the inside of the vehicle.

Officers used PAVA spray to prevent him from injuring himself.

Falkingham was interviewed and said he could not recall much about the incident after drinking cider.

He failed to attend court for a sentencing hearing in July after being released on bail.

Falkingham pleaded guilty to affray, common assault and breach of bail.

Glenn Parsons, mitigating, said Falkingham has long-standing problems with alcohol and drugs.

He said: "He is someone who is more prone to hurting himself than other people."

Falkingham was jailed for nine months.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: "This was in a high rise block of flats.

"Other residents in the block would have witnessed what was going on."