Birthday siege girl reunited with riot police party pals
Published: July 13, 2006 | 4460th good news item since 2003
LITTLE Phoebe Piltz thought she’d never smile again, after her sixth birthday was ruined when her family were thrust into the middle of a nine-hour rooftop siege in Cheadle.
She was opening her presents at her Shakespeare Drive home and looking forward to going on holiday later that day, when Nicky Hadfield climbed on the roof of her house and threw tiles at police.
And instead of jetting-off to Minorca she – alongside parents Nigel and Lois – were trapped inside and, unable to travel to the airport, missed their summer break.
But Phoebe was all smiles after when the police, who protected her during the ordeal, presented her with a box of chocolates.
It was a belated birthday gift and a thank you to Phoebe for sharing her sweets with hungry officers during the siege.
Dad Nigel, 52, said: “It was early in the morning and we were just getting ready to go on holiday when this guy came bounding on our roof and we were stuck until about 1pm.
“It was harrowing for my wife and daughter, as he was throwing tiles through the skylight. I kept telling Phoebe she was safe, she was with her dad.
“She was torn-up for a while afterward and was very nervous of anyone being near her. But she really enjoyed the chocolates and having her photo taken with the police, who she trusted.”
Hadfield, 27, was this week sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment at Minshull Street Crown Court, following the rooftop seige drama last year, which cause a total of £50,000 damage to houses.
The Piltz family got out of a back door when other officers drove a van into the front gates as a decoy.
Phoebe handed out the chocolates, which had been a present, shortly after unwrapping them. And she eventually enjoyed a family holiday in Crete.
Nigel added: “We went earlier this year and had a fantastic time.”