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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 17 January, 2020

Englishman who took hostages at bowling alley jailed for 12 years

David Clarke believed his ex-partner was on the premises.

Police stand guard inside a cordon near the MFA Bowl at The Bermuda leisure park in Nuneaton last year.
Police stand guard inside a cordon near the MFA Bowl at The Bermuda leisure park in Nuneaton last year.
Image: AFP/Getty Images

AN ENGLISH MAN who held two members of staff at bowling alley hostage has been jailed for 12 years today.

David Clarke, 54, admitted the offences at an earlier hearing at Warwick Crown Court following the incident in Nuneaton on 22 October last year.

He drove to the bowling alley at Bermuda Park, Nuneaton, armed with a sawn-off shotgun and a large knife concealed on his body, believing his ex-partner was on the premises.

He began drinking in the bar area before brandishing the weapons and ordering members of the public to leave. Clarke then falsely imprisoned and threatened two members of staff with the shotgun and caused damage to the venue.

Shortly after, armed police arrived.

Clarke then ordered one of the hostages to go to his car in order to collect a samurai sword from it. He threatened to injure the other hostage if he did not comply.

A police negotiations team was in contact with Clarke throughout, but after hearing potential gunfire, armed police stormed the building and arrested him.

Stephen Davies, District Crown Prosecutor of the CPS, said:

“At the time of the offence there were many young children and families present within the bowling alley and surrounding areas. Clarke’s actions were not only irresponsible, they left members of the public and emergency services to fear that their lives were in danger.

“The incident would have been traumatic for all those who were present, and especially the two staff members who were held against their will for four hours. Clarke must now face the consequences of his actions.”

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