Man held hostages during three-hour siege at Coral bookmakers

A man has admitted holding hostages during a three-hour siege that was captured live on camera.

Alistair Gallow, of Percy Street, Jarrow, sparked a huge police response at Coral bookmakers at Grange Road in the town during a stand-off that was filmed by shocked neighbours and posted on social media.

Videos and pictures from the scene went viral on the internet as the terrifying town centre drama unfolded last month.

The 39-year-old allowed the four people he had held imprisoned inside to leave before specialist armed police officers arrested him.

At Newcastle Crown Court Gallow pleaded guilty to four counts of false imprisonment towards two members of staff and two members of the public and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence in relation to an imitation sawn off shotgun.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of an offensive weapon, namely a knuckle duster.

Gallow, who appeared at the hearing via video link to HMP Durham, also admitted three charges of possession of a bladed article in relation to three knives.

The court heard Gallow has been assessed by a specialist forensic nurse while in prison on remand and it is likely that psychiatric report will be prepared on him before the sentence hearing in April.

Victim impact statements from those caught up in the stand off will also be prepared.

Judge Tim Gittins remanded Gallow in custody in the meantime.

The judge told him: "Obviously, following your guilty pleas at an early stage in the proceedings, you will receive significant credit when it comes to sentence.

"Nontheless, as you appreciate, I am sure, the likelihood is a lengthy custodial sentence."

The judge urged Gallow to cooperate with the authorities for the preparation of reports before the case is back in court.

The judge said any future risk posed by Gallow will need to be assessed.

Judge Gittins added: "Before any decision is made it is important the court has as much information as possible about your background and your motives in relation to these offences."

Gavin Doig, defending, said prosecution witness statements will be relied on to give an insight into Gallow's intentions that night.

Police surround Coral bookmakers in Jarrow. Picture by Stephen Dixon.

Police surround Coral bookmakers in Jarrow. Picture by Stephen Dixon.

* Video supplied by Gary Marshall.