THE man responsible for a four-hour siege in Bewsey after dangling a two-year-old child over a railway bridge has been jailed for five years.
During the dramatic siege 24-year-old Shane Rhodes threatened to kill the child to try and stop police officers approaching him.
He sat on top of a wall over the West Coast Mainline with the child - closing the network and causing major disruption to thousands of passengers.
Warrington Crown Court heard on Friday how on August 12 Rhodes had gone to the home of Samantha Young and after she asked him to leave became aggressive towards her.
Rhodes, of Haryngton Avenue, Bewsey, took a child who was in the house and police found the pair in a car park of Folly Lane Medical Centre at 6pm.
Merion Wynn-Jones, prosecuting, said: “The defendant walked across the car park, the officer followed and he shouted “come any closer and I will snap the boy’s neck”.”
He walked down Bewsey Street and decided to sit on top of the wall of the railway bridge.
Two police negotiators spoke to him throughout the stand-off and at 10.15pm he climbed down and walked to the police cordon when an armed response team ran towards him, spooking him.
He then dangled the child over a wall to a builders yard.
One officer fired a taser gun but missed, instead grabbing Rhodes and the child.
After being detained he told officers when he got out of prison he would do it again.
Simeon Evans, defending, said Rhodes, who wept during the hearing, had a brain injury in 2005 and has been acting more impulsively since then.
Mr Evans said: “He would say he has come to certain realisations first amongst these is that he has a problem dealing with stressful situations.
“This is a case of an incident spiralling out of control in ways that were never expected.
“While he clearly was seeking to give every impression he would hurt the boy he never had any intention of hurting him. The intention was to get the police officer away.”
He added police negotiators had said the child never appeared distressed during the siege and he had looked after the child - even changing its nappy.
When deliberating on the sentence Judge David Hale said: “I’m struggling to find a more serious case of cruelty towards a child. If the child had been dropped the charges would have been different.”
But Mr Evans argued it was a one-off incident compared to long term cruelty cases and the child had no psychological trauma.
He was handed five years after pleading guilty to making threats to kill and cruelty to a child under 16.