A POLICE officer found himself staring down the barrel of a gun as he confronted a man who said he had a bomb, a court has heard.
On the eve of the Olympic torch’s visit to the town, Colin Davies, 53, walked into Wrexham Council’s headquarters and said he had a bomb in a rucksack.
Terrified staff evacuated the Guildhall and raised the alarm, but a police officer who bravely went into the reception area had a gun pointed at his face – unaware it was an imitation firearm.
Davies, in a bid to commit suicide, was hoping a trigger-happy firearms officer would shoot him – and described it as “my Olympic moment”.
Army bomb disposal experts were drafted in with a remote controlled robot to make the rucksack – which contained items made to look like a bomb – safe.
Davies, of Quarry Road, Brynteg, Wrexham, was jailed for two years yesterday at Mold Crown Court.
He admitted that on May 29 he made a hoax bomb alert, and was in possession of a combat knife and an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear.
The Recorder Geraint Walters said he accepted it was not his aim to cause terror, but that was what he did.
“You would have been more than willing to meet your death at the hands of a police officer shooting you,” said the judge.
“You certainly decided to go out in a blaze of glory which you called your Olympic moment.”
Davies had been in a depressed state of mind and wanted to draw attention to himself and his plight, and his ultimate wish had been to be shot by a policeman.
However, the hoax bomb had caused terror and he had brandished a weapon directly in the face of a police officer called to the scene.
It was no coincidence that he had done it the week the Olympic torch was due in Wrexham.
“Your observation following your arrest that it was your Olympic torch moment speaks volumes,” the judge said.
Simon Mills, prosecuting, said three days before the Olympic torch was due in Wrexham Davies walked into the reception at the Guildhall, put the rucksack on the counter, and told staff: “I have got a bomb in here. You had better get out.”
Staff were absolutely terrified and the entire building was evacuated and the alarm raised.
The first police officer to arrive, Sgt Robert Davies, “showed considerable courage” by entering the reception area looking for the bomb.
In his statement the officer described what happened when he went through the door. “I was looking down the barrel of a gun,” he said.
“I looked behind the gun and saw a man holding the gun approximately two feet away.”
The gunman had his arms outstretched and was pointing the gun directly at his face.
“If he had fired, it would have gone straight into my forehead or my eye.”
Sgt Davies shouted at him “put that down, put your gun down”.
Other officers arrived in the room, but Sgt Davies, who has military experience, was unable to say whether it was a genuine or imitation gun.
Mr Mills said it turned out to be an airgun, an imitation firearm, but said it was potentially lethal at such close range.
Tazers were pointed at the defendant, who was subdued and arrested, and as he was led out he said: “That is my Olympic torch moment, this is my 15 minutes.”
The rucksack contained various items to make it look like a bomb. A combat knife was also found inside the bag.
When interviewed, Dav ies said he wanted to commit suicide. He was critical of police officers and said he felt that if he created such an incident, a trigger happy officer would kill him.
Mr Mills said the incident caused “enormous fear, enormous distress, enormous inconvenience and enormous public cost”.
Catherine Jagger, defending, said Davies had no true comprehension of the gravity of the offences he was committing at the time.
He had not targeted the police or the council. He was simply desperate to bring about the end of his life.
Davies, who had been a carer for his parents, did not have any convictions. It was out of character and he had shown great remorse.
Miss Jagger stressed the bomb hoax had not been accompanied by aggression or threats. It was over in minutes and when arrested, he told an officer the bomb was not real although it was appreciated they could not take any chances.
“His intention was suicide. He had no desire to hurt anyone apart from causing his own death,” Miss Jagger told the court.