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Man who threatened to blow up Burnley home is jailed
5:48pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
A MAN who threatened to blow himself up in his home, putting neighbours in fear for their lives, has been jailed.
Clinically depressed Ryan Hill, 25, had told police he was going to kill himself and had threatened to light gas from a pipe he had damaged in his rented flat on Westgate, Burnley.
Around 15 residents living within 100 feet of his flat had to be evacuated from their homes late at night, last October 17.
Hill eventually came out of the premises safely and surrendered to officers after a trained police negotiator spent about an hour on the phone talking him round, a court earlier heard.
Hill, who had written a suicide note, was arrested and told police: "I think I need to be at hospital." He apologised for wasting people's time but made no comment when questioned.
Hill had admitted causing a public nuisance and threatening to destroy or damage property and had been committed to Burnley Crown Court for sentence, by the town's magistrates.
The defendant, who has public nuisance conviction after he threatened to jump off a motorway bridge, and who has made hoax calls in the past, was locked up for two years and eight months.
David Macro, prosecuting at the Crown Court, said at 9.55pm, police received information about a call made to the communications room, by Hill's friend.
Two officers went to the defendant's address, the friend was outside and told them that Hill had rung him up, saying he was going to kill himself. Hill had told him the gas had been running a long time and he was going to end it all.
Hill's flat was in darkness, officers went round the back and saw a sheet up his window to prevent anyone looking in. He was on the phone to communications, telling them was going to set light to the gas.
Police smelled gas, retreated, made a cordon around the property. Two fire engines attended and a gas engineer cut the supply off, but there would still have been gas in the pipes.
Hill had a previous conviction for robbery with an imitation firearm and had served 42 months in prison.
Adam Watkins, for Hill, said he showed genuine remorse. He had battled with clinical depression for some years. He had made things worse by misusing alcohol. The defendant had been to Inspire and was receiving help.
Sentencing, Judge Lunt told Hill: "The public must be protected from you endangering other people. Gas being such a very dangerous entity, one spark and several properties would have gone up and possibly people killed."