Felixstowe: Brightwell Close man jailed over empty threats to shoot himself and non-existent hostage

Michael Rouse, who was jailed for wasting police time.

Michael Rouse, who was jailed for wasting police time. - Credit: Contributed

A man who sparked an armed police response after saying he had a gun, a hostage, and wanted “death by police” has been jailed.

Michael Rouse, of Brightwell Close, Felixstowe, was given 12 weeks’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to causing wasteful employment of police and two counts of criminal damage.

Ipswich magistrates heard the 40-year-old made a 999 call from his home shortly after 7.55pm on August 20 stating he had a shotgun and was intending to shoot himself.

Prosecutor Simon Newell said Rouse also stated he was holding a hostage and was not going to let him go.

Armed officers and the police helicopter were sent to the incident.

However, when they arrived officers discovered there was no shotgun or hostage, and Rouse was arrested.

Mr Newell said Rouse had used phrases such as “I want this death by police”.

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Mr Newell added: “There is clearly something more behind this rather than simple phone calls to the police.”

After Rouse was arrested and put in handcuffs he damaged a cell l and the cuffs by “bashing” them on the cell wall and chipping the plaster. The total cost of the damage came to £140.

The court heard the cost of the sending the police helicopter out to the incident was £516.

Rouse had 13 previous convictions for 18 offences, the last of which was in May this year for disorderly conduct and criminal damage.

Sue Threadkell, representing Rouse, said her client told officers he had taken what he believed to be a steroid injection, which accounted for his behaviour.

Mrs Threadkell added: “He did not wantonly cause police to waste their time.

“He shows genuine regret at his actions after the event. He is deeply remorseful for his behaviour. He has very little recollection of what went on.

“He was quite unwell after this incident. He got taken to hospital by ambulance.”

The court was told Rouse was trying to overcome an addiction to Class A drugs.

Jailing Rouse, the chairman of the bench told him a lot of police officers had been tied up in dealing with the incident, which could potentially have put other people elsewhere in Suffolk at risk.

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