A man threw slates from the roof of a four-storey building in South Tyneside in a stand-off with police.
Dean Moore sparked safety fears after climbing to the top of the BT Exchange in Crossgate, South Shields, in the early hours of Christmas Day in an apparent suicide bid.
Police – including a force negotiator – were scrambled to the scene to find the 26-year-old had clambered to the top of a telegraph pole and was refusing to come down.
Magistrates heard he then shouted abuse at the officers from high above and smashed windows and lights on the building during a tense 40-minute stand-off in which he made repeated threats to leap to his death.
Moore was eventually persuaded to climb down and was arrested.
Moore, of no fixed abode, admitted using threatening, abusive words or behaviour and criminal damage when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Paul Doney, prosecuting, said; “At 5am on December 25, police were made aware of a male sitting on top of a building opposite the petrol station in Crossgate. Police attended and spoke to the defendant, who refused to come down. He became aggressive and climbed to the top of a telegraph pole. Officers attempted to engage him in conversation but he became abusive.
“He started kicking in the windows of the building and spotlights and threw tiles from the roof while making several threats to jump off the building.
“After 40 minutes, he came down and was arrested.
Charlton Carr, defending, said; “He is a person with mental health issues who was suicidal on that day. That’s why he was there, threatening to throw himself off the building.
“He needs some some sort of help and input from the probation service. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the incident or there would be a more serious charge.
“The incident occured at 5am on Christmas Day. I know where I was at that time and most of us would be with family.
“This young man felt the need to go to the top of a building and contemplate suicide.
“He was a desperate man in desperate circumstances. It is clear he needs help more than significant punishment.”
Moore was given a 12-month community order and told to take advantage of the support provided by the probation service.