A DRUNK convict who was due to be recalled to prison took staff at a bail hostel hostage and demanded they help him flee to Scarborough.
John Shellard (30) turned up at the Rookwood Bail Hostel, on Ridge Road, Rotherham, where he had been staying, just after 8pm on December 12, Mr Graham O’Sullivan, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court yesterday (11).
He had been due to be recalled to prison but instead, he went to the hostel, approached another resident who was outside smoking a cigarette and asked him for money.
When he refused, he became aggressive, and said, ’Give me some f***ing money’,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Shellard armed himself with a hammer and forced the man to open the door to the hostel, shouting: ‘Get that f***ing door open or I’ll smash your skull in’.
After Shellard forced his way in, the resident armed himself with a pool cue and returned to find Shellard had forced two female staff members into an office.
But one of the women gestured to the resident with the pool cue to leave, and he did, Mr O’Sullivan said.
As he left, the resident put a set of keys in the office door and pressed the panic alarm on them before returning to his room and calling the police.
Shellard smashed a perspex screen and told the women he wanted money because he was stuck in Rotherham and was being recalled to prison, Mr O’Sullivan said.
One of the women said Shellard sounded frantic and desperate and she thought he would hurt them both, Mr O’Sullivan said.
Shellard then forced one of them to open the safe but she said it would take a few minutes because her hands were shaking.
Shellard took £250 from the safe and then demanded the women hand over their car keys.
He demanded that one of them take him to their car so they could drive him to Scarborough, which was where he was from, Mr O’Sullivan said.
Shellard turned to the other woman and said, ‘If you phone the police I will f***ing kill you’.
But when he left the building two police officers arrived and Shellard tried to flee.
As he tried to clamber over a small fence he fell over and the officers caught him.
The probation officer said in a statement that in her 17-year career she had never felt so threatened as she had done by Shellard.
Shellard pleaded guilty to affray, kidnap, criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon, assault of an emergency worker and two counts of robbery.
Mitigating, Mr Matthew Burdon said his client had been in and out of prison since he was 14.
“He can’t explain what came over him on this occasion,” he said.
“He had taken Valium, he was in drink, and he has expressed his regret to these ladies.”
Recorder David Gordon adjourned the hearing for a pre-sentence report to be prepared to assess Shellard’s dangerousness.
“Of course it will be a custodial sentence and it will be of some length,” he said.
Shellard, whose head was bowed throughout the hearing, is due to be sentenced on March 11.