A man has been jailed for criminal damage and assaulting police in Gosport.

Police were called late in the evening on 16 September this year, with reports that 43-year-old Barry Close had smashed up a stairwell, used a paving slab to break a window, and damaged a bike at an address in San Diego Road.

Officers attended and arrested Close in the garden.

Whilst en route to custody, Close elbowed a police officer, and later caused damage to his custody cell including flooding it with toilet water.

Close, of no fixed abode, was subsequently charged with assault of an emergency worker, and two counts of criminal damage.

He admitted the offences when he appeared before Magistrates on 18 September.

Appearing at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 24 October), he was jailed for 18 months. This included the activation of a suspended sentence which he was handed on 11 August this year for a burglary at the Stoke Emporium, Gosport, in which £30,000 worth of jewellery was stolen.

Acting Sergeant Jon Stapenhill said: “Barry Close is a habitual offender who persistently causes issues for the community and businesses in Gosport.

“Police are committed to relentlessly pursuing these kinds of individuals and making Gosport a hostile place for them.

“They need to know that we will take robust action against them if they continue to offend, and I hope that the result in this case reassures the community of our commitment to do this.”