Street stand-off as Chesterfield man threatened to shoot “Old Bill”, court hears

Police firearms officers were embroiled in a streetside stand-off with a Chesterfield alcoholic who threatened to shoot himself and “the Old Bill”, a court heard.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 1:10 pm

Armed response police were dispatched when Robert Simpson, 35, dialled 999 saying he was armed and was about to turn a gun on himself.

Prosecutor Abigail Hill told Chesterfield Magistrates Court while speaking with a call handler Simpson said: “I’m going to shoot myself but I might as well shoot the Old Bill.”

Firearms officers later saw the defendant on Whitworth Road, near his Stonegravels flat, stumbling “as if in drink” with his hand inside his jacket.

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Armed response police were dispatched when Robert Simpson dialled 999 saying he was armed and was about to turn a gun on himself

Ms Hill said: “He appeared to be grabbing something from his coat, so officers raised their weapons and told him to show his hands.”

Simpson was then taken to the ground while resisting being handcuffed and arrested - no firearms were found at his home.

Later, during a police interview, Simpson told police he had made the call knowing armed officers would be sent..

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The court heard drinker Simpson had relapsed into boozing following a row with the mother of his child and had drunk 16 cans of Stella Artois.

Recorder Adrian Reynolds heard Simpson had 10 convictions for 25 offences, including battery, GBH and attempted robbery.

Addressing Simpson, who appeared in court already on remand in custody, the judge told him it was clear he had been trying to come to terms with his drinking problems.

He said: “What you should have done is speak to the various agencies you had been in contact with for support.

“Bearing in mind it was you who called police and I’m sure what you did was a cry for help and there was not a firearm involved.”

Noting that sending Simpson back to jail would result in the loss of his flat and homelessness upon his release Judge Reynolds handed him a two-year community order.

He said: “If you have bad days, next time, rather than buying 16 cans of Stella find someone who can help you.”

The defendant, of Flamsteed Crescent, admitted sending a threatening message and resisting police.

He was handed a 60-day alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement and 22 rehabilitation activity days.

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