Armed police arrest boat owner

joseph hurley

joseph hurley

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Armed police arrested a pleasure boat owner after he took pot shots at his landlord in a row over mooring fees on the Beverley and Barmston drain.

Joseph Hurley, 50, started firing shots in to the cow shed where Peter and Liz Harrison were sheltering – and then shot at their son’s telephone line to their remote farmstead.

Hurley even threatened to blow up their barn with a CS gas canister after firing shots into the air.

Hurley, had fallen out with the Harrisons over the fees they charged to keep his boat on the river.

He lived on his boat and in a cabin on the farmstead at Jolly Tar Farm at Wilfholme, where the Harrrisons also live with their son and his partner. After firing shots, Hurley called police and warned: “I’m going to shoot them all.”

Hull Crown Court heard Hurley, who has 23 previous convictions including arson, was spotted driving “like a maniac” toward the Harrisons’ home.

He let himself in uninvited at 6.15pm on April 9.

Hurley, who was drunk, complained about the fees and was abusive before he was ordered to leave. He then knocked on the window of the home of Toni Molineux, who lived in a separate building on the farm asking when Paul Harrison would be home.

Hurley called Paul Harrison at work, telling him: “Get yourself back, I’m going to bang you and your mother out.”

He made further threats at both properties before pacing up and down the river bank and getting an air rifle, Crown barrister Tom Ledden told the court.

Hurley then fired several shots into a cattle shed while the couple were inside, forcing them to flee.

Five shots were aimed at the telephone wire at Peter Harrison’s home.

When Hurley was confronted by armed police he told them: “I am not giving up.”

When he was told to put the gun down he continued to be abusive. His wife came out of their cabin and told police he would not respond well to “shouts and threats”.

But when an armed officer approached to talk to him Hurley responded by threatening to blow the shed up with a gas canister and throwing a hammer at him.

The drama turned to a siege as Hurley jumped on his boat locking himself inside.

“When the officers approached, he made threats to either fight them or blow up the boat if they tried to board,” said Mr Ledden.

The armed officers then decided to wait for the dog handlers and a police negotiator to arrive. Hurley was eventually talked down and arrested. The police seized a .22 calibre air rifle.

When interviewed by police, Hurley made no comment but later admitted charges of affray, making threats to kill, and criminal damage and appeared for sentence in court on Monday.

The court was told the Harrisons wanted him to seek counselling but were concerned “such matters might well be repeated” if he did not.

Judge John Dowse adjourned sentencing until June 23 for the preparation of a psychiatric report and released Hurley on conditional bail to live at his sister’s home in Barnsley Street, Hull.

Hurley is not allowed to contact the complainants or go within five miles of the farm at Wilfholme, and must not buy alcohol.

The judge said: “I am seriously concerned. It appears to be a breakdown. I wonder if there should be a medical intervention.”

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