Pagham siege man granted bail due to terminal cancer

News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174836001

News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174836001

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A court has heard how the gun involved in the 40-hour Pagham siege last August was ‘locked in a cupboard’ throughout the incident.

The defendant Terry Bridger was given conditional bail by the judge, Christopher Parker QC, at the hearing today, on account of his terminal lung cancer and his family’s ‘desperate’ wish to have him home.

Bridger, 73, Harbour Road, Pagham, who has been in custody since September 1, pleaded guilty to three counts – two of threatening to damage property, namely ‘police lights’ and his own property, and one count of making use of a firearm with intent to resist arrest.

Barrister Power, speaking for the defence, said Bridger’s ‘medication had been changed which changed his demeanour, it added a degree of confusion and upset on his part’.

Mr Power added that Bridger is in ‘very poor health’ and that it was an ‘isolated incident’.

The court also heard that ‘the defendant does not accept, at any stage, the handling of a shotgun’ but that he ‘accepts that the police would not have known that’.

“It was in a locked a cupboard and he didn’t have access as he had given the only two sets of keys to his wife Dawn Bridger,” said Mr Power.

The judge then stated: “If there had been no firearm there then there wouldn’t have been any offence but seeing as it was there...”

Following Bridger pleading guilty, it was explained three further counts would rest on file for decision after sentencing on March 16.

In the meantime, the judge requested reports to be compiled on Bridger’s background, character and health.

Mr Parker added the conditional bail was to be granted due to his ‘serious and terminal’ condition.

“You ought to have that time, at the very least, to see your relatives,” he said. “I don’t want to walk you up a garden path by granting bail, I want to give you clemency.”

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