Treatment for Colne man who threatened to blow up home

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A COLNE man who was given six months to prove he would comply with mental health treatment after threatening to blow up his home, kept his freedom.

Jack Comerford had had sentence deferred in April, and Burnley Crown Court heard he had done all that was asked of him and more.

Comerford, said to have a long history of drugs use and mental health issues, had referred himself to the community mental health team and was fully co-operating with Inspire.

The court had earlier been told how the defendant (55), of Clifford Street, had admitted threatening to destroy property in a way likely to endanger life last September.

Three streets had been evacuated in Colne when Comerford, then “suicidal” had threatened to blow up his terrace home - as he had done exactly that before.

The defendant had told police he was going to turn on the gas, had a knife and was going to cut his throat.

The hearing had been told that, in 1996, Comerford had blown up his house after turning on gas appliances, falling asleep, waking up and flicking a lighter.

The defendant, who in the second incident had told officers he had taken a lot of tablets, had finally agreed to give himself up after two hours and had passed a hammer and two knives to police through the letter box.

The gas was cut off at 5pm, about the same time as he was arrested.

He was taken to hospital because of the overdose.

Judge Jonathan Gibson, who had deferred sentence, told Comerford: “The kind of behaviour you exhibited was potentially dangerous.

“You threatened to blow the house up, but didn’t, in fact, turn the gas on.

“Had you done so, not only would you have received a custodial sentence, but you would also have been a very significant danger to the public, not only yourself.”

The judge imposed a three-year community order with supervision, which, he said, would allow the defendant to continue with his progress and build upon it.

Judge Gibson said the order “would be better protection for the public”.