June 23, 2024
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By Ewan Gleadow

After a man in a soiled rag tore off the roof tiles of a local charity during an angry police standoff, a charity was left with more than PS3,000 worth of repairs.

After a man in his underwear fell through the roof of a charity, they were left with an expensive repair bill.

Gary Kirkham caused chaos at the Royal Voluntary Services centre (RVS) in Hanley, during a standoff with police. As a result of the stand-off, Gary Kirkham caused havoc at the Royal Voluntary Services (RVS) centre in Hanley.

Kirkham was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and told to pay PS500 in compensation, after admitting that he caused criminal damage. StokeonTrentLive reports that Staffordshire Police alerted Helen Podmore about this bizarre incident on 24 November.

Helen said, “It’s a strange one.” I was told by the police to come down because there is a man half-naked on the roof, and that you hold the keys. The first night was Winter Wonderland, and it was so loud that he could not hear the police.

They wanted to see someone come into the building and have a peek. He was not reachable. On the roof, he was very erratic. He kept headbutting and pulling tiles off the roof. About 9pm, I got a phone call asking me to come downstairs as the man had fallen through our roof into our café area. As soon as I arrived at the center, he was taken in an ambulance.

Helen continued: “There were eight holes on the roof, and three rooflights had been damaged.” The man was so strong that he tore off the wheel rim. The centre has been severely damaged.

We had to close for two days because we did not know how the roof would hold up in the café and there are elderly customers coming here. “Some of the people who came here don’t have family nearby and wouldn’t be able to see anyone else all day without us.

We’ve paid for roof repairs and are now waiting on someone to check out the skylights.

The woman continued, “There is still a hole on the roof of the café and the damage has been caused by the dust and rain that got in.” We normally serve soup and rolls for PS1 at this time of the year, but haven’t managed to.

The bill is already over PS3,000 and the fact that we were forced to shut down for 2 days has impacted us financially. Now we have to look for the money to cover this. “We are going to create a JustGiving fundraising page and post it on Facebook.”

Kirkham’s actions have left some Centre users “disappointed” and others “upset”. Helen said: “Some people have expressed their anger about the incident. We get a lot of people who want to rent the center at this time, but we do not want them seeing the hole on the ceiling above the cafe servery.

From 9am-2.30pm, Monday through Friday, the centre is open to anyone who wants to come and eat or have company.

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