Knifeman jailed for taking council receptionist hostage outside Royal Oldham Hospital

Man jailed for taking woman hostage outside Royal Oldham hospital.
Daniel Buckley, 32, had been released from a mental health hospital two days before he took a meat cleaver and a knife, first to a friend's house and then to Oldham Civic Centre. Credit: MEN Media

A man who kidnapped a council receptionist from her desk then held her at knifepoint in her car outside The Royal Oldham hospital has been jailed.

Daniel Buckley, 32, had been released from a mental health hospital two days before he took a meat cleaver and a knife, first to a friend's house and then to Oldham Civic Centre.

There he placed the weapons on the counter and forced the receptionist into her car.

The receptionist managed to escape the car and raise the alarm at the Royal Oldham.

Buckley told a hospital sister 'You need armed police'.

The emergency unit was put on full lockdown and there was a twenty minute stand-off with firearms officers.

Buckley eventually surrendered and was arrested.

Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard he had just been discharged from a mental health facility.

Police at the Royal Oldham responding to the hostage incident in August 2022. Credit: MEN Media

In a victim impact statement read out at Minshull Street Crown Court, the council worker said she still suffers panic attacks.

"The whole situation still feels very surreal," she said. "I just keep thinking 'what if I had not managed to keep him calm'?"She said she hasn't been able to drive since and added: "I just keep thinking 'what if there had been a different outcome'? I was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Jayne Dagnell, prosecuting, said Buckley told the woman: "If you are my hostage, there is nothing you can do."

The court heard the woman, who calmed Buckley by talking about her family, managed to get out of the car when they arrived at the hospital and told a paramedic.Buckley, of Wilson Way in Oldham, told a security guard 'move away or I will run you over', judge Recorder Andrew Nuttall was told, and the sister who walked over to the car described him as 'psychotic and erratic' before a road block was set up and police raced to the scene on 30 August.

The receptionist was praised for her calm reaction, raising the alarm at the hospital. Credit: MEN Media

Around an hour earlier, the court heard Buckley walked into the home of a friend - a mother-of-three whose children were inside - armed with a bread knife and a meat clever.

The court heard he broke down in tears, said he needed help and called a hospital letter 'a code'.

Ms Dagnell said: "He said that everyone was trying to kill him. He pushed her head into a door.

"She was screaming and he was still holding both knives in his hand. She thought he was going to kill her."In her victim impact statement, the mother-of-three said: "This incident has changed my life. He was a friend and was always welcome. That was all destroyed in the space of half an hour.

"I understand he wanted help. I believe he was in the middle of a mental health crisis."Buckley pleaded guilty to assault by beating, threaten another with bladed article, kidnapping and two charges of possessing a bladed article in a public place.

Recorder Nuttall sentenced him to a 10-year extended sentence, comprising six years in prison and a further four years on licence.

He will serve two-thirds of the prison sentence before being eligible for parole and a 12-year restraining order was also passed.The judge said Buckley was seen by two different police officers earlier that morning - two days after his discharge - but 'neither thought it necessary to take further action'."You represent a continuing danger to the public of serious harm and a sentence must be required for public protection. I consider you dangerous. That is my finding."

The court heard a psychiatrist said he was suffering from a 'non organic psychotic disorder' at the time, but a hospital order was said not to be 'warranted'.Kay Driver, defending Buckley, said he had misused drugs and alcohol and was on prescribed medication.

She said the offences were triggered by a 'collapse of his mental health and misuse of prescribed drugs', adding: "He has shown genuine shame and remorse and wishes to apologise to all for his actions. He wishes it to be known that this was out of character."