A GUNMAN threatened to shoot a police officer during a nine-hour armed siege - which he live-streamed on social media, York Crown Court heard.

Thomas Edward Thistlethwaite, 29, went online to call on others to come and help him kill the police and offered money, said Alex Menary, prosecuting.

He claimed he would blow up his house and that he had a Molotov cocktail, lit gases from an aerosol and threw lighter fuel and engine oil and “numerous” other objects out of the windows during the incident at his home in Monkton Road, York.

Thistlethwaite, who was jailed for four years, told the lead police negotiator: “I have a shot at your head. I am going to shoot you in the head.” Other officers pushed the sergeant, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, to the ground.

The sergeant told the court of his fear and panic, adding: “I had never felt anything like it.”

Despite his specialist training, the whole incident had drained him emotionally and its impact and the seriousness only began to sink in afterwards, he said in a statement.

Thistlethwaite also claimed he had poured petrol over himself and would set himself on fire, said Mr Menary.

A defence psychiatrist diagnosed Thistlethwaite as having a bi-polar disorder.

Defence barrister Susannah Proctor said: “He was in significant mental turmoil at the time. Given his mental state, that caused him to be even more paranoid and agitated and in fear for himself and the situation escalated out of control.”

Thistlethwaite, who has campaigned to save Bootham Park Hospital, pleaded guilty to having an imitation firearm with intent to cause the lead police negotiator to fear violence, and affray, and was jailed for four years.

The judge told him: “If you can stop ingesting illicit drugs your mental health will stabilise. Keep taking them and it will deteriorate.”

He read a letter from York Central MP Rachael Maskell about Thistlethwaite’s efforts over Bootham Park Hospital and other letters and references.

Mr Menary said officers had gone to Thistlethwaite’s home at 3.30pm on November 27 with a warrant under the Mental Health Act to detain him for his own safety.

But as one officer entered the property, she saw him pick up the gun and cried: “Firearm, he has a firearm."

She retreated, the police took cover, Monkton Road was cordoned off, and for nine hours, Thistlethwaite resisted all attempts to persuade him to come out.

Only when police saw him taking tablets via his live stream did they storm the building and detain him at 1.15am.

Ms Proctor said Thistlethwaite was an intelligent man who had studied at Cambridge, but his chronic mental health problems kept frustrating his efforts to achieve anything.