A NUISANCE neighbour who threatened to set fire to the gas supply during a three hour siege at his flat has been jailed for three years.

Michael Haldon pleaded guilty to harassment and witness intimation offences after police evacuated the block and formed a ring of steel around the property in Greenhill Close in Ormsgill on May 6 2019.

Preston Crown Court heard Haldon, 25, had fallen out with his neighbour after she reported him to the police for playing ‘nightclub level’ music into the early hours of the morning.

The mum-of-three had agreed she would text him if she wanted to turn the music down.

But between January and May, Haldon became less co-operative and became increasingly threatening to the woman, prosecutors said.

On May 4, the woman was at home with her young children - aged between six months and two years old - when she heard Haldon outside her front door threatening to smash her face in and ‘do the flat in’.

Judge Phillip Parry, sentencing at Preston Crown Court, said: “She must, by then, have been very very frightened indeed.”

Haldon was arrested and released on bail but returned to the property and continued to harass his neighbour, turning his music up full blast.

When officers came to arrest him on May 6 for breaching the terms of his bail, Haldon became even more abusive.

He threatened officers and started throwing tins of alcohol and bottles at them.

He also produced a shard of glass and said he would use it to cut his throat.

He then threatened to set fire to the gas supply, the court was told.

A gas man was called to disconnect the supply and several families were evacuated for their own safety.

But due to Haldon’s increasing threats, officers had to form a shield around the gas man to enable him to do his job.

They also formed a protective ring around the flats to prevent members of the public from getting too close, the court heard.

When smoke was seen coming from Haldon’s flat, officers forced their way in to find he had started a fire in the bath, but it had been extinguished, and there was flammable liquid sprayed around the flat.

Judge Parry said: “Police had to be deployed in great numbers to create a cordon around the flat to protect members of the public.When you were arrested, officers found you had practically destroyed the inside of the flat and caused all sorts of damage.”

In a victim statement, Haldon’s neighbour said she had become increasingly anxious as a result of his behaviour and threats and felt unsafe leaving her flat.

She said she could now only see family and friends if they visited her and did not even feel safe taking her bins out as a result of Haldon’s threats and abuse.

The judge granted a ten year restraining order banning Haldon from contacting his neighbour or from going within 200 yards of her home.