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Wiltshire Police Federation

Sergei Skripal's neighbour threatened Police Officers

12 April 2018

Salisbury Journal Rebecca Hudson Reporter

THE neighbour of a Russian former spy poisoned with a nerve agent attacked police after the incident triggered his paranoid schizophrenia.  Patrick Boyle, of Christie Miller Road, became aggressive to an officer at a cordon in Salisbury city centre on March 9, five days after his neighbour Sergei Skripal was poisoned in the Maltings.  Police were called to assist their colleague at about 3.10am, and found Boyle, aged 43, drunk and smelling of alcohol. 

In a hearing on Friday, magistrates heard that Boyle was confrontational to the officers and punched a police van.  Prosecuting, Kate Prince said he was “foaming at the mouth” as he turned to PC Combellack and said “f****** come on then”.  Boyle told the officers he had been in prison for murder and “would do it again”, Ms Prince said, and that he continued to struggle despite three officers restraining him.

He told the officer: “I’m going to slit your f****** throat.  “I hope you’re married because I’m going to kill your wife and kids. I’ll find out where you live and burn your house down.  “I’ve done it before, and I can do another ten years.”

Boyle admitted making the threats at Salisbury magistrates’ court.  Defending, Paul Jones said Boyle suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, which had been made worse by the heavy police presence in the city and around his home.  “It caused his mental health to deteriorate,” he added.

Mr Jones said Boyle had stopped taking his medication, and on the night in question had become intoxicated.  He said Boyle wanted to apologise to the court, adding: “He accepts that his behaviour on that day was completely unacceptable.”  In a statement, Boyle said: “I have no recollection of this, I apologise to the police officers unreservedly.  “The situation is, it was all getting on top of me at that particular time.”

The court heard that Boyle had previously committed “a very serious matter indeed” ten years ago, that had led to him being hospitalised. 

After the incident in March he was taken to Fountain Way psychiatric hospital, where he spent two weeks.

Mr Jones said Boyle has now agreed a course of action with mental health workers going forward, including abstaining from alcohol and not going out in the evenings for the next few months.

Magistrate Mr Wells ordered Boyle to pay £150 compensation each to PC Combellack and PC Pattemore, who was also involved in the incident, as well as £85 court costs.  He said: “Clearly this was a bit of a blip, wasn’t it?  “And the drink doesn’t help.

“The threats you made were very serious and if you were a normal person having threats to burn your house down, you would be naturally aghast and concerned.”