A man that begged for help from mental health services before scaling the roof of Sevenacres when refused help has pleaded guilty to a string of offences, including criminal damage and affray, at the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court this morning (Friday).
Mark Anthony Booth-Pain, 41, of Heath Close, Newport, admitted causing thousands of pounds in criminal damage and 1 county of affray following the incident on 2nd April.
During the near 3-hour standoff, which was first reported by Island Echo, damage was caused to the roof of Sevenacres at St Mary’s Hospital – estimated to have cost over £5,000 – and to nearby cars, including an Audi, Land Rover Freelander, Suzuki Swift, BMW 2-Series, Citroen, and a Ford Focus – 2 of which were police vehicles.
The court heard that Mr Booth-Pain – who had come out of prison 15 months ago – had been suffering from poor mental health in the time leading up to the incident, which had been exacerbated by traumatic events earlier that day. Mr Booth-Pain is said to have made his way to the Sevenacres facility in search of help following an unfruitful telephone call with the Mental Health Crisis Team.
Representing Mr Booth-Pain, Keith Verrinder told Magistrates that upon arriving at Sevenacres, he was dismissed by a member of staff and at that point made the decision to climb onto the roof. He said the defendant was then ‘panicked’ by the growing number of people present in the area, which included Police officers, paramedics, and the Fire and Rescue Service – which was called after he threatened to set things on fire.
Mr Verrinder told the court that due to the defendant’s diagnosed autism, ADHD, and agoraphobia (a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult) he felt threatened and proceeded to throw tiles from the roof towards nearby vehicles – including 2 police and 4 privately owned vehicles.
Liz Miller, prosecuting, said that Booth-Pain’s conduct led to many emergency service resources being tied up in the incident and that the scale of the damage caused, combined with the tiles thrown being classed as weapons, meant the case needed to be passed to Crown Court.
The case has been adjourned to 7th May at the Isle of Wight Crown Court and a pre-sentence report from the Probation Service has been ordered.