Man who smashed up flat and ‘left a scene of devastation’ jailed

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A man barricaded himself in his flat sparking an hour long stand-off, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Friday).

Karl Staples reacted after staff at the Salvation Army Hostel in Skegness tried to speak to him.

Staples refused to answer the door. He began shouting and swearing at the staff and then went on to smash up the flat causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Sarah Munro, prosecuting, said “He completely lost it. Staff could hear him shouting in different voices. One member of staff said Staples sounded like he was possessed.

“It took police an hour to deal with the situation. They were only able to enter after the power was cut off and a professional negotiator was brought in

“They could hear him smashing his flat and he started to throw his belongings out of the window.

“When police were able to enter the flat they found blood everywhere.

“The defendant had injured himself and had smeared blood on the walls. He had written strange words on the walls in his blood. It was a scene of devastation.”

Virtually the entire fixtures and fittings in the flat were damaged including furniture, doors and radiator pipes. The cost of repairs was estimated at £14,300.

Miss Munro said the incident had been sparked by a decision that Staples should be moved from the Witham Lodge hostel to another property in Leicester.

She said Witham Lodge was accommodation for homeless people who would normally stay for three months before being found somewhere else but Staples had been allowed to stay for almost a year.

Staples, 41, of no fixed address, admitted a charge of damaging property arising out of the incident on 12 August. He was jailed for 12 months.

Neil Sands, defending, said Staples became paranoid after he was told he was to move as he wanted to remain in the Skegness area.

He told the court “From his perception his home was being taken away from him. He has little recollection of what took place.”