An asylum seeker has been jailed for ten months after he urinated down onto police officers during a tense standoff in July this year (2020).
21-year-old Meysam Afshar was protesting about his impending deportation when he started hurling debris down from the roof of a property on Rushworth Street, Southwark.
The incident lasted for around eight hours after the emergency services responded to the scene on 23rd July 2020.
The Iranian national claimed that he was protesting against a decision that was made by the Home Office to deport him back to Iran.
Appearing in court, Afshar said:
‘They called me and said “you need to leave” and I said take me back.’
Inner London Crown Court heard how nine police officers, a hostage negotiator, the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service attended the incident and tried to persuade Afshar to come down from the roof.
Fadi Daoud, defending, said Afshar had taken ’15 tablets’ before the incident and that he was ‘unaware of what he was doing’.
Before sentencing, Judge Jeremy Donne, QC, told Afshar:
‘I have been told that a number of urgent calls from the public could not be dealt with, the road was closed, and the emergency personnel were there for seven hours until you were eventually persuaded to come down from the roof.
‘You had threatened a police officer with a piece of wood, and in addition to throwing debris from the roof, you urinated from the roof.
‘You told police that you had taken fifteen tablets in an attempt to take your own life and at one point you were seen to put an electrical cable around your neck.
‘You are 21 years old. You entered into this country two years ago seeking asylum.
‘You told police that you were protesting against your treatment against the immigration authorities.
‘You had been on a roof a short while before although not in circumstances that amounted to the commission of an offence.
‘This is mainly to the inconvenience to the users of that road, who were prevented from using it, the potential of damage caused by the debris you threw from the roof.
‘Your disgusting behaviour of urinating from the roof alone and the diversion caused a number of emergency workers from carrying out their duties.
‘I do not overstate the harm, this road is a small one, and the inconvenience to the public would not have been the greatest.
‘You committed these offences as a form of protest.’
Afshar denied two counts of causing a public nuisance and threatening an emergency worker but was found guilty.
He was jailed for ten months.
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