Armed siege yobs jailed

Convicted - Daniel Towler.
Convicted - Daniel Towler.

Riot police were called after two drink and drug-fuelled armed men attacked a group of workmen outside a house in Doncaster, a court heard.

Commuters were delayed and construction work halted for two-and-a-half hours as bricks, bottles, sticks, cups, glasses, and even a TV remote control rained down on the innocent workmen.

Convicted - Thomas hotterwell.

Convicted - Thomas hotterwell.

A total of 22 police officers, some in riot gear with shields, and dog handlers had to be deployed as Daniel Towler, aged 26, and Thomas Hotterwell, 21, went berserk alongside the busy A630 dual carriageway in Balby.

Towler armed himself with a kitchen knife, and Hotterwell an 18ins long piece of wood, as they hurled abuse at the officers before Hotterwell retreated to the roof of the rented house on High Road.

The riot and an ensuing rooftop siege lasted two-and-a-half hours before it was finally brought to an end.

Jailing the pair at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Alan Goldsack told them: “This was a disgraceful display of public disorder.”

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said it all started at 8am on August 30 last year as the workmen were using a JCB digger on a grass verge.

They heard cries from a house on High Road overlooking the scene and Hotterwell shouted, ‘Get off my grass’ before he began hurling objects at the workmen from a window.

Minutes later Hotterwell and Towler appeared armed in a nearby alleyway and challenged the workmen.

Hotterwell pulled a baton out of his trousers and Towler had a knife with a six-inch blade.

As the foreman picked up a shovel to defend himself, Hotterwell shouted: “Go and smack me and I’ll put a claim in.”

The drunken pair then rained further missiles on the workmen with some objects landing in Balby Road.

They retreated into their house and barricaded the door as police officers arrived, with Hotterwell shouting obscenities at them from a window.

He screamed obscenities at one policewoman, and even threatened to rape her.

Hotterwell and a third man then climbed onto the roof of the house with Hotterwell threatening to jump off. They were eventually persuaded to come down at 10.30am.

When interviewed later, Towler and Hotterwell, who both live on benefits, admitted they had been drinking heavily for 24 hours and had little recollection of what happened. Towler tested positive for cocaine and Hotterwell said he had taken cannabis and M-Cat.

The workmen told police the disruption cost their company £3,000.

“We were all fearful of getting hurt,” said one. “I should not go to work and be subject to that behaviour and violence.”

Towler, now of Ivanoe Road, and Hotterwell, of Springwell Lane, both Balby, admitted affray and possessing an offensive weapon.

Sally Donaldson, for Towler, said he was under the influence of alcohol and a cocktail of drugs. The incident was not planned and no physical injury had been caused.

Richard Haigh, for Hotterwell, said he had problems with his temper when he went on a drink and drugs binge, and often behaved in an anti-social manner. He recognised on this occasion his behaviour was ‘outrageous’.

Judge Goldsack told the pair: “A number of men were doing work outside your house. They had every right to be there and were subjected firstly to abuse from the bedroom windows. Then you two came out, picking up weapons, and although you did not use them you gave the men reason to be frightened.

“Despite it happening at 8am you were clearly full of alcohol you had taken over the previous 24 hours, and this was aided and abetted by drugs.”

Towler was jailed for 18 months and Hotterwell for 16 months.

A third man who mostly stayed inside the house has already been jailed for four months.