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Home   Faversham   News   Article

Armed Faversham man Christopher Smith's wife saw siege drama unfold live on Skype as police descended on estate

01 May 2014
by Bess Browning

It has emerged Lisa Smith, of Larksfield Road, Faversham, was away visiting a friend when distressed husband Christopher phoned her to say he was suicidal.

The 50-year-old said she became increasingly worried and called police, asking them to take him to hospital as she feared he had taken too much of his medication.

Armed police descended on Larksfield Road in Faversham

Armed police descended on Larksfield Road in Faversham

Minutes later, armed police had cordoned off the street on the Faversham estate on Saturday afternoon.

Fire engines and paramedics all raced to the scene.

Mrs Smith continued to speak to her husband on Skype as he wrecked a mirror on the wall and then smashed the window at the front of the house.

A four-hour siege ensued as police negotiators tried to coax him out of the house while bemused neighbours looked on.

Mrs Smith watched, petrified, from the tiny screen on her mobile phone. She said: "He didn't leave the house because he was terrified.

"Who wouldn't be with these armed police, looking like Darth Vader, pointing their guns into your living room?

"He moved the camera round to the armed police outside the house and said 'the only way I'm leaving here is in a coffin'."

The window of the home in Larksfield Road is boarded up after Christopher Smith was taken away by police

The window of the home in Larksfield Road is boarded up after Christopher Smith was taken away by police

After throwing the axe and knives out of the house, Smith was detained by police and was later charged with affray and criminal damage.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty via video link at Medway Magistrates' Court and was remanded in custody for sentencing at the crown court at a date to be fixed.

According to his wife, Smith is severely disabled, suffering from angina, emphysema and osteoporosis.

This means he takes a cocktail of drugs, including morphine. She believes the police over-reacted after her call.

She said: "I asked them to help him, I didn't ask for a SWAT team.

"I wanted him taken to hospital, not weapons pushed in his face. I can't believe that my phone call to the police warranted this sort of response – you don't even get this sort of response for terrorists."

Police at the scene of the four-hour siege where Christopher Smith was detained

Police at the scene of the four-hour siege where Christopher Smith was detained

Mrs Smith said her husband was "incredibly frightened" during the stand-off.

When he finally left the house, he was "crying and apologising".

Police spokesman Alice Hemmings said: "The initial police response was in line with information received from the person reporting the incident.

"Officers encountered violent and threatening behaviour, and armed response officers were deployed to help."

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