Man who drove through security at RAF Mildenhall found not guilty of affray
- Credit: Archant
A man who was shot at a dozen times as he drove through security at RAF Mildenhall with a teddy bear strapped to his chest has been cleared of affray.
Glenn Wardle, 48, arrived at the main gate of the US Air Force base in Suffolk on December 18, 2017, claiming he was from the US Secret Service, Ipswich Crown Court previously heard.
During the incident, he told staff he “wanted to speak to the president”.
Wardle drove his father's black Volvo XC-70 through gates before swerving around a pop-up barricade.
Armed security staff shot at the vehicle a dozen times, and one guard was dragged along the ground for 30 metres as he tried to grab the car keys, the court heard.
Wardle then drove towards an Osprey multi-purpose aircraft and was about to drive up the lowered ramp onto the plane when his car was rammed by security vehicles.
He was removed from the Volvo at gunpoint and became agitated when the teddy bear on his lap was wrenched away from him by security officers who feared it was a bomb, Catherine Bradshaw, prosecuting, said.
After his arrest Wardle, who was described as “babbling”, told officers he wanted to get on the plane because he needed “to see the president”.
Wardle, who was prescribed anti-psychotic medication at the time, had a vision that morning of talking to Mr Obama after seeing a plane in the sky and believing he was on it, jurors heard.
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Wardle, of Ethel Colman Way, Thetford, who chose not to give evidence during the trial and listened to proceedings via telephone awaiting the results of a Covid test, denied affray.
The jury of 10 men and two women returned a unanimous not guilty verdict on Thursday afternoon after nearly two hours of deliberations.
Following the verdict, jurors were told that Wardle had pleaded guilty to a separate charge of producing cannabis.
Officers searched his home following his arrest on December 18, 2017, and found six cannabis plants and a "sophisticated growing set up", Miss Bradshaw told the court.
This puts Wardle in breach of a eight-month suspended sentence received in 2017 following his conviction for possessing a machete outside The Forum in Norwich in 2016.
Judge Martyn Levett adjourned sentence for the cannabis charge until January 4.