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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Walney knifeman's threat: "I'm doing a Cregan"

AN armed man who had to be shot with rubber bullets following a stand-off with police was heard saying he wanted to emulate killer Dale Cregan.

Genus Zanzibar admitted possessing a Bear Grylls scout knife and a home-made shield, which had numerous screws or nails protruding from it, in public.

The 39-year-old sparked a three-hour stand-off with police at his home in Thames Road, Walney, on Wednesday.

During his appearance at Furness Magistrates’ Court on Friday, Mr Lee Dacre, prosecuting, said a member of the public heard Zanzibar tell a negotiator “come near me and I’ll cut your throat”. And someone heard him say “I’m doing a Dale Cregan”. Cregan is serving life for murdering two female police officers in Manchester.

The incident started at around 12.45pm when a psychiatric nurse went to Zanzibar’s home to administer medication he was required to take while on licence with the probation service.

He was found kneeling on the grass outside, wearing a motorbike helmet and motorbike suit and said: “I don’t want to see you today.” The nurse was concerned about his behaviour and called the police. Two officers arrived and found him carrying a six-inch blade and triangular shield with around 20 nails or screws banged into it.

Zanzibar took a “fighting stance” and the police called for back-up, which included firearms officers and dog handlers. One officer described how he feared for himself and colleagues after Zanzibar moved towards him and did not obey instructions to put down the weapons.

Mr Dacre said a Taser was used to no avail and baton rounds – described as a type of rubber bullet – were fired to take Zanzibar down and retrieve the weapons.

The court heard Zanzibar has 15 convictions for 29 offences. In July last year he was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Zanzibar, representing himself, said: “The reason I did what I did was to make a bid for freedom. I feel oppressed by the institutions and society. I feel they are forcing me to take medication I don’t want to take and feel I don’t need to take.”

He will appear at Preston Crown Court on February 14 and was remanded in custody.

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