A FATHER had an armed stand-off with police for two hours on Christmas Day.

Andrew Murrell had gone to his partner’s home on December 25 last year to give presents to his children.

Murrell and the woman had been in a rocky relationship and she did not invite him to the flat in South Ockendon on the day.

After the 36-year-old had given over the presents, the woman asked for him to leave and booked him a taxi.

However, this angered him, and he refused to go, and the woman called the police.

She was advised to make herself safe, and then Murrell locked her out of the flat.

At his sentencing at Basildon Crown Court, Judge Andrew Hurst said: “What then followed was a disgraceful and utterly unacceptable display.

“It was a highly emotional stand-off between you and the police.

“You made threats for self-harm and made gestures with a knife, you wanted police to leave you alone.

“The major concern for the police was the three children inside the flat.

“The police overheard sounds of the property being smashed.”

The court heard that the children were not threatened or impacted by the episode, as they were playing with their toys and Murrell made no attempt to harm them.

He did however cause damage to the flat by stabbing the walls and door with the knife.

He eventually surrendered to the police after two hours of negotiations.

Murrell, of Morse Close, Plaistow, London, admitted affray and criminal damage and was given a three year community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.

He must also complete 25 days of rehabilitation.