Police stand-off truck driver’s threat to “kill” ex-wife

A truck driver involved in a four hour stand-off with police at his former wife’s home sent his boss a text message saying: “Going to kill her.” Peter Myers , 34, was jailed for two years after a judge heard how he had gone to his former wife’s home in Cleator Moor and barricaded himself in a bedroom with a three-year-old child and threatened to kill himself. He admitted false imprisonment.

Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, outlined the terrifying confrontation, which happened in the early hours of April 3. The prosecutor said the defendant, of Millgrew Close, Maryport, was due to drive his lorry from Edinburgh to South Yorkshire and then Penzance, but at 11.23pm on April 2 he sent a text to his boss saying he could not complete his shift. The manager replied, asking: “What’s up, pal?”

The defendant’s reply was: “The ex. Going to kill her.” The boss then sent another reply, cautioning Myers against doing anything silly, and the defendant responded by saying the woman involved had got him to the point where he wanted to kill himself.

After driving back to his depot, Myers then drove to his former partner’s home in Cleator Moor, going uninvited into her house at 3am. Describing what happened next, Mr Rogerson said Myers’ ex-wife was having trouble sleeping and at 3am she heard footsteps and he appeared in the bedroom. “She jumped out of bed and asked him what he was doing there,” said Mr Rogerson.

He demanded to know why she hadn’t answered her mobile phone, the defendant having sent her 33 texts and a smaller number of calls. “In her words, she just legged it, grabbing her mobile phone as she left, ” said the prosecutor. Responding to her 999 call, police arrived a short time later, by which time Myers had barricaded himself in a bedroom with a three year old.

In the negotiations with police that followed, Myers said he wouldn’t harm the child, who was released after 15 minutes, but he would kill himself. “He repeated these threats, and told them he was holding a knife to his own throat,” said Mr Rogerson. The stand-off continued for four hours, with the defendant’s behaviour being unpredictable, and involving periods of calmness and then verbal aggression.

At various points, he threw belongings from the bedroom window. At 7.33am, Myers finally allowed the officers into the bedroom. Asked where the knife was, he replied: “I never had one.”

The court heard that the defendant’s previous convictions included one for robbery, burglary and arson, though the last offence was 2008. Mr Rogerson said of the defendant’s former wife: “She says that following her divorce from Mr Myers, she finally felt she was free from him. After this incident, she now feels threatened by him again.”

Greg Hoare, for Myers, said the defendant was thoroughly ashamed of what had been a very ugly and concerning incident. The barrister said: “He had access to a bottle of rum and by the time he got to the house, he was very much the worse for drink. “When sober, he’s a hard-working, rational person.”

As well as the jail term, Judge Barbara Forrester imposed an indefinite restraining order preventing Myers from contacting his former wife.

The judge added: “I’m satisfied that the circumstances are so serious that it needs an immediate custodial sentence.” Prosecutors offered no evidence for the alleged offences of burglary and criminal damage.

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