A MAN who sparked an armed police siege has been charged with possessing an imitation firearm even though he had nothing more dangerous than a windscreen squeezy sponge.
A judge questioned if Marc Carpenter had been properly charged following an incident involving armed police – just hours after Prince Edward had visited a nearby activity centre.
Bare-chested Carpenter had been on a footbridge on the River Exe in Exeter, Devon, and is alleged to have told police he had a gun in his holdall and invited police to shoot him, Exeter Crown Court heard.
Judge Francis Gilbert QC said the fake gun was 'a windscreen sponge, squeezy' and thought the 33-year-old should be charged with threatening behaviour or wasting police time.
Carpenter, of Clarence Road, Exeter, but formerly of Segamunda Close, Sidmouth, and Broad Street, Ottery St Mary, was remanded in custody and will return to court in a week after the charge is reviewed by prosecutors.
Dozens of sunseekers witnessed half a dozen armed officers surround Carpenter near a children's play area on Haven Banks just a short time after Prince Edward had formally opened the multi million pound activity centre.