Paragraph 4 reads "Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday how the 50-year-old had suffered from depression since childhood and was taking Prozac, Warfarin and a number of other anti-depressant drugs at the time."
Former soldier fired at police in house siege
AN ARMY veteran enraged about the end of a relationship shot at two police officers who came to deal with him, a court heard yesterday.
James Atkinson split up with his girlfriend and moved out of their house, but she rang police after he called unannounced to remove rifles he had stockpiled in the attic.
Police surrounded the property and over the following five hours the ex-Green Howard shot 53 times into the surrounding streets only surrendering when he was blasted in the hand by officers.
Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday how the 50-year-old had suffered from depression since childhood and was taking Prozac, Warfarin and a number of other anti-depressant drugs at the time.
He had the correct licence for each of the eight guns he kept at the house in Bayswater Grove, Harehills, Leeds, but never told the authorities of the medication he was taking for depression.
Simon Myerson, QC, prosecuting, said: "If he had told police about the medication he would never have been granted a licence."
At 2.30pm on October 11 last year Atkinson, who denies two charges of attempted murder, called at the house to remove the rifles. It had been his home until the relationship with girlfriend Carol Wylde broke down 10 days before.
The court heard Atkinson's weapons licences stipulated that he needed to live at the same address at which the guns were stored, so he went to Harehills to get them.
He let himself in and texted Ms Wylde at work to tell her he was there. She objected and returned home to remonstrate with him. Once she found him at home she went to a neighbour's house and called the police.
At 4.40pm four unarmed police officers arrived, assuming they were dealing with a domestic incident. When they came to remove him they became suspicious he might be hiding a weapon and cordoned off the road.
He strode out of the house and, holding a Winchester rifle at the hip, he shot at constable Natasha Manders from only five yards away.
He missed the officer, who had graduated from training only two weeks previously, and she was able to run away.
Atkinson continued to fire at an empty police car and van blocking off the road.
He went on to shoot at two armed officers, including PC John Marsland, as they sheltered behind the garden wall of a nearby house.
PC Marsland regained his composure and shot Atkinson in the left hand with his semi-automatic rifle.
Atkinson went back inside but surrendered to police at 11.20pm that night. Police found he had been drinking heavily.
The jury was told he had completed several tours of Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Germany while in the Army.
He gained his HGV licence and became a driver for Leeds social services in 1992 when he returned to civilian life. He had bought his first handgun in 1995 but following the Dunblane massacre in Scotland he swapped it for a rifle.
The case continues.
16 May 2006