Man with shotgun who kept armed police at bay for nearly three days is jailed

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

A depressed man with a shotgun who kept armed police at bay for nearly three days while he refused to leave his home in Crowfield has been jailed.

Mark Clarke, 43, eventually gave himself up, walking out of his detached house in Stone Street on January 18 and was arrested, Ipswich Crown Court

heard yesterday (Friday).

Clarke, who pleaded guilty to affray and illegal possession of a shotgun, was jailed for two years by Judge Rupert Overbury.

The incident, which began when police received a call expressing concern for Clarke’s safety, resulted in the area around his home being sealed off by armed

police who remained in place until Clarke surrendered 40 hours later.

John Farmer, prosecuting, said Clarke wandered around the house with a shotgun and told friends that he was intending to take his own life following the breakdown of his marriage.

The court heard that during the incident Clarke never pointed the gun at anyone else and before giving himself up had put the weapon, which was legally licensed by his wife, back into a secure storage cabinet.

Mr Farmer said that when Clarke had seen armed police outside his house he called his wife to ask what was happening as he could not understand why

they were there.

Clarke, described to the court as being at the time in a ‘troubled state of mind’, told his wife that she should say he was dangerous and would shoot anyone

who came near.

The court was told that Clarke, who had been diagnosed with clinical depression, had suffered recent bereavements and was abusing substances.

Jailing him, Judge Overbury said it was accepted that Clarke had not intended to harm anyone else other than himself.