A Harpenden man has pleaded not guilty to assault by beating, common assault and intentionally or recklessly causing a public nuisance.

Paul Lee, 45, appeared at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (April 24) charged with affray intentionally/recklessly causing a public nuisance, common assault, assault by beating and three counts of criminal damage.

Of those charges, he has pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage.

Lee did not enter a plea for the third count of criminal damage.

The charges follow an incident on Wednesday, March 22, in Pickford Hill.

On that day, a man had barricaded himself into a property following an altercation with another individual.


A large emergency services presence was seen on Pickford Hill from around 6.45am on the day.

Armed police, a fire engine and ambulance crews attended the scene, and drones were also spotted overhead.

Police negotiators were also deployed.


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A number of residents were evacuated from their homes and into the nearby Sauncey Wood School, which had taken the decision to close early.

At around 2.34pm, a man was escorted from the scene and into a police van.

Herts Advertiser: A heavy emergency services presence was seen at the location.A heavy emergency services presence was seen at the location. (Image: Pearce Bates, Newsquest)

Detective Sergeant Mark Chipchase said at the time: “Thankfully no one was seriously injured during this incident.

"We worked as quickly as we could in order to make sure that the incident was dealt with swiftly and was as contained as possible, prioritising public safety – including that of local residents and all emergency service personnel responding to this incident.

“I would like to thank the public for their patience while officers worked to bring it to a safe conclusion – especially the residents who were temporarily evacuated from surrounding properties as a safety precaution.

Herts Advertiser: A number of armed police were seen at the location.A number of armed police were seen at the location. (Image: Pearce Bates, Newsquest)

"Their co-operation and understanding was greatly appreciated.”

Lee is set to reappear in court on Thursday, June 29.