Tyne & Wear

Jarrow bookmakers siege: Man jailed for four years

Alistair Gallow Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Gallow held four people hostage during the armed hold up

A man has been jailed for holding four people hostage during an armed siege.

Alistair Gallow targeted Coral bookmakers in Jarrow, South Tyneside, on 8 January, sparking a stand-off with police lasting several hours.

The 40-year-old of Percy Street, Jarrow, previously admitted four counts of false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

He was jailed for four years at Newcastle Crown Court.

Police were called to the bookmakers in Grange Road at 17:46 GMT. All the hostages - two members of staff and two customers - were released by 20:45.

Gallow also previously admitted three charges of possession of a bladed article in relation to three knives, and one of possession of an offensive weapon, namely a knuckle duster.

The hearing heard that Gallow's marriage had broken down at the time he carried out the raid and his mental health had deteriorated.

Image copyright Stephen Dixon
Image caption The four hostages - two members of staff and two customers - were released unharmed

He had also told friends and his estranged wife he was "going to do something stupid."

Just before he carried out the raid, he drank two cans of lager and while it was ongoing he continued to drink and told hostages he would let them go "once he got bored".

During a three-hour stand-off he released the hostages - the youngest being 19 years old - one-by-one, the hearing heard.

A psychiatric report found he was suffering from alcohol problems and a personality disorder.

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