Professional opera singer, Mark Holland, armed himself with a bow and arrow, and went on a totally terrifying rampage at the Belmar Nursing Home (pictured) in Stanley Road, off Clifton Drive, on the afternoon of Monday 2nd October. The petrified staff at the Home called the Police at 1.35 p.m. after the enraged voluntary resident lost his temper when he was told that he could not go out shopping.
The 63-year-old, who was a former Rossall Public School pupil, a graduate of the prestigious Royal College of Music in London and subsequently gained acclaim worldwide as a renowned baritone, appeared at Blackpool Magistrates Court today (Friday 27th October).
The court heard that frightened residents were evacuated and had to be secretly hidden in a cellar to keep them safe from the raging Holland. His terrifying wrecking spree, which caused £2,800 of damage as he smashed doors, released fire extinguishers and hurled concrete blocks at a visitor’s car, was only halted when he was eventually tasered three times by police officers.
Holland was normally allowed out of the Home and enjoyed the freedom. But on this Monday afternoon Belmar Nursing Home colleagues feared he had been drinking too much and consequently he was told that he must remain indoors.
Prosecutor, Pam Smith, told the court that an enraged Holland appeared naked from his room whilst singing and making treats to staff. He was wielding a bow armed with metal-tipped arrows.
PC Nicole Bennett, who attended the incident, provided a statement to the court. She told how the incident escalated quickly. As the police in attendance feared Holland would take a hostage, they called in a trained negotiator. However, Holland confronted PC Bennet and her colleagues with a large bow and arrow. Holland was preparing to take aim at the officers when the Police retaliated with their tasers. Following three taser hits, the enraged but stunned opera singer retreated back into his room. The Police entered the room and handcuffed Holland.
Defending Holland, Trevor Colebourne, said that his client had been at the Belmar Nursing Home for some time and staff were aware he had the bow and arrow in his possession. They had even played with his bow and arrow when cleaning his room. The arrow Holland had fired only went a few feet because the bow’s string broke. He added that his client’s mother had died a short time before the incident and Holland had been depressed.
His defence said, ‘He has had a fine career as a renowned baritone and has appeared worldwide, as well as starring on the West End. He comes from a good background with family in Hertfordshire. Since his arrest he has been in prison custody. Both he and his family feel he is getting help there.’
District Judge Richard Thompson sentenced Holland to six months in prison, saying ‘This a sad situation. As an educated man you lost control and caused fear with that weapon.’ In addition to his jail sentence, Holland was also ordered to pay £2,800 to the home, £250 compensation to the car owner and £250 each in compensation to staff involved in the evacuation of residents.
For full details as reported at the time of the incident, see this Lytham St. Anne’s News article: https://www.lythamstannes.news/news/sixty-three-year-old-man-arrested-after-lytham-nursing-home-incident/