Hostage pleaded for safety of 'messed-up' gun-point captor Alistair Gallow

Alistair Gallow
Alistair Gallow

A released hostage pleaded with police not to "hurt" their former captor - who had apologised for being "messed-up".

Alistair Gallow, 41, sparked a siege at Coral Bookmakers, in Grange Road, Jarrow, on January 8, holding four hostages while armed with an imitation sawn-off shotgun, knives and a knuckleduster.

How we tackled siege gunman: police chief explains how armed stand-off in bookies was dealt with

Officers fired a baton round to disable as the stand-off came to an end, and this week he was jailed four for years over offenses relating to the three-hour siege.

While police were deployed outsde the bookies, a “messed up” Gallow apologised for his behaviour and reassured his four hostages that he simply needed help, before releasing them one by one.

Earlier this week, Newcastle Crown Court was told that during the siege, Gallow allowed one of the men to take a telephone call from his worried sister, who had heard what was happening, and even comforted the anxious caller himself by saying that nobody would be hurt.

When the last hostage left, while armed police waited outside, the former captive told the officers “please don’t hurt him, he needs help”.

CCTV from inside the shop was played in court and showed Gallow barge in to the store, where he ordered that the windows were to be covered with paper and the panic alarm was to be activated.

The court heard the CCTV camera was unable to be switched off but it was covered before Gallow took out the knives he was carrying.

Gallow told his hostages that his wife had left him, he had lost his job and had been “forced to do what he was doing” so he could get help.

The court heard when armed police arrived at the scene due to the panic alarm activation, Gallow opened the door and was abusive before “asking the officers to shoot him”.

Gallow, who was drinking alcohol during the stand-off, then demanded, and received, cigarettes and a lighter, which were delivered to the front door of the shop and picked up by one of the hostages.

The court heard during the stand-off, Gallow made a number of calls and texts himself, including one saying “death by cop” and “It’s too late”.

Gallow then released three of the men, one by one then left the door open and told the last hostage “get yourself away”.

When the last hostage, who had tried to grab Gallow’s hand to walk out with him, got to the officers outside, he told them “please don’t hurt him, he needs help”.

Gallow was then hit with a baton round as he left the shop.

The 12 gauge, double barrel shotgun was found to be an empty replica.

Police also seized a brown handled pocket knife, a folding knife, a knife in a sheath and a knuckle duster.