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Perth man barricaded himself in flat and made ‘disablist’ comments to police

Mark Clephane barricaded himself inside his flat, the trial heard.
Mark Clephane barricaded himself inside his flat, the trial heard.

Police negotiators were scrambled to a disturbance at a Perth multi-storey block after a man used furniture to barricade himself inside his flat, a court has heard.

Mark Clephane is on trial accused of threatening or abusive behaviour at the Pomarium Street flats in the early hours of April 9 2020.

It is alleged the 31-year-old shouted, swore and made “disablist” remarks towards an officer.

He is further accused of restricting, obstructing or hindering police by barricading the entrance to his flat and an internal door with furniture in an attempt to prevent them getting inside.

Clephane also faces allegations he failed to comply with a breath test, after police suspected he was driving a Vauxhall Vectra after taking drink or drugs, and failing to provide specimens of breath.

He faces a further charge of possession of cannabis.

Clephane denies all charges at Perth Sheriff Court.

His solicitor David Holmes has lodged a special defence, claiming his client was suffering mental illness at the time.

Blood on the door

David Fenwick, 59, a security guard at the flats, told the trial he heard a car arrive outside with “music blaring” and the driver “shouting his lungs out”.

The motorist was swearing incoherently at people in the flats, Mr Fenwick said.

He called police when the driver walked into the block.

Detective Sergeant Scott Carswell was among several police officers who attended.

He said police had to force entry into Clephane’s flat.

The accused had locked himself in his room, DS Carswell told the trial.

“We were getting told to f*** off, getting called piggy b******s and things like that,” he said.

“It was very aggressive.

“We were concerned about his welfare because we could see blood on the door.”

Drugs found in flat

DS Carswell said after the stand-off ended, a tub of green herbal substance was found in the kitchen.

It tested positive for bout 16.7g of cannabis.

DC Christopher Smith, 38, said officers tried to calm Clephane while he was barricaded in his bedroom.

“I tried to build a rapport but it wasn’t working,” he told fiscal depute Andrew Harding.

Asked by Mr Holmes if it had occurred to him that Clephane may have been suffering mental illness, DC Smith said: “It’s something that is always at the back of your mind but at the time – given how he appeared – he appeared to be under the influence of something.”

The trial before Sheriff Francis Gill was adjourned until next month.

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