Judge commends bravery of officers who tackled flats gunman

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A JUDGE has praised the bravery of two police officers who tackled a psychotic gunman during a shooting incident at a flats complex in Elland.

Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday how Samuel Templeman, 23, believed he was the target of assassins in a film during the confrontation at the Perseverance Mill complex in Westbury Street in April.

Templeman had armed himself with an air rifle that morning and shot one of the residents Sam Callaghan in the left bicep after knocking on his apartment door.

After injuring Mr Callaghan Templeman bizarrely told him: “Oh sorry. I thought you were the delivery man.”

PC Drew Wilson and his colleague, PC Richard Thorpe, arrived at the apartments after police were alerted to the shooting and found Templeman still armed with the weapon.

Prosecutor Ken Green told the court the officers asked him to put the rifle down but instead Templeman fired it at PC Wilson, who was uninjured despite being hit in the right upper arm.

As the officers retreated they could hear the rifle being fired in the direction of the car park before Templeman approached them again.

PC Wilson slipped and fell and he described how Templeman appeared to be reloading the rifle.

“At that point PC Wilson was obviously fearful for himself,” said Mr Green.

“Fortunately PC Wilson was able to use his CS gas spray to effectively gas the defendant and it was at this point that PC Thorp was able to put handcuffs on him and he was restrained.”

Templeman, who was a resident in the same apartment building, pleaded guilty to charges of 
possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and assaulting Mr Callaghan.

Judge Colin Burn was told that he had spent 13 weeks in custody since the incident.

After reading psychiatric reports about Templeman he told the court he had decided the most appropriate way to deal with him was to make him the subject of a two-year community order which includes a two-year mental health treatment requirement.

Templeman’s barrister, Kitty Taylor, referred to one of the psychiatrist’s reports in which he concluded that at the time of the incident the defendant was “grossly psychotic” and believed he was in a film and the target of assassins.

The court heard that in the lead up to the events that day Templeman had been using drugs and had also been deprived of sleep.

Judge Burn said the officers actions showed great bravery.