Delivery driver was held hostage in Luton flats for for delivering cold takeaway

Kebab generic pic
Credit: PA
The driver was held for two hours because of complaints over the cold food he had delivered. Credit: PA Images

A takeaway driver was held hostage at a block of flats when two neighbours complained about their food being late and cold, a court heard.

Police were involved in a 14-hour siege the flats in Luton, where Paul Burton, 45, and Nathan Turner, 37, had been drinking vodka and taking drugs.

The pair complained about their takeaway being cold and kept the delivery man prisoner in a lift for two hours, as well as blasting loud music, Luton Crown Court was told.

Burton also fired an air rifle at a police car’s windscreen.

Burton, of Bury Court, Church Lane, Bedford, pleaded guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and two charges of possessing a firearm without a certificate and was jailed for seven years.

Turner, of a neighbouring flat at the same address admitted affray and four charges of criminal damage and was jailed for 20 months.

The court was told that Turner had hurled paint and plant pots at police and civilian cars parked outside the eighth floor of the block of flats on 27 November last year.

The siege lasted for 14 hours, and involved police being shot at with an air rifle. Credit: Police at the scene in Bury Court, Bedford.

Prosecutor Adrian Fleming said that at around 3am the two men ordered a kebab.

The delivery driver could not get into the building but when he eventually arrived on the eighth floor in a lift the two defendants placed a coffee table across the door so it could not close and the delivery man could not leave.

“The defendants ate the food in the hallway and made him (the driver) put his hand in the food telling him it was cold,” he said.The owner of the food business arrived at the flat after receiving abusive calls from Turner.

The driver left in a distressed state and went off with the owner. Something was thrown at the car, causing a dent in his car roof, said the prosecutor.

When a neighbour annoyed at the noise banged and kicked on the door, Burton appeared with a three-foot-long black rifle.

When she called the police, armed officers surrounded the building.

Burton said: “I will shoot the first officer that walks through the door.”From 20 metres away, Burton fired at the windscreen of a police vehicle. The glass was partially pierced and the officer behind the wheel reversed away at speed, said the prosecutor.

“He thought he was going to die,” added Mr Fleming.

The siege continued throughout the day with Turner throwing paint and plants from the balcony.

Three police and two civilian cars were damaged, causing more than £4,700 in damage.

Turner gave himself up at 12.34pm and Burton came out at 5.49pm - 14 hours after the siege began.

For Burton, Lawrence Selby said he had a history of mental health problems and drug and alcohol abuse.

“He accepts his behaviour was disgraceful and totally unacceptable,“ he said, adding that Burton had been drug and alcohol-free in prison and receiving assistance with mental health issues.

William Durrands, for Turner, said he was bipolar and at the time had been suffering a bereavement and separation from his family.

Judge David Farrell KC said: “It was an appalling and terrifying incident.

“This was an extremely disturbing and frightening siege in which a firearm was present.

“Significant police resources were used and there was considerable distress and disturbance to residents at the block of flats.”