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Thug faces jail over Champions League final attack

James Gelling, pictured at 15, was hit with a three-year ASBO in 2002. He his since being convicted of more than 70 offences

Gelling is the eldest of three brothers who terrorised Southport as children, waging a campaign of burglaries, assaults and vandalism.

He was 15 when the siblings were hit with three-year ASBOs, banning them from Pleasureland and any arcade in the resort, in 2002.

At 16, he was locked up for six months for breaching his ASBO, which he flouted by associating with other named youths.

Gelling was handed a two-year suspended sentence in 2007, for burgling a man’s home and stealing his motorbike, then hiding from police on a rooftop.

He climbed up onto Hesketh Mount, which was undergoing major renovation, before being talked down by force negotiators more than an hour later.

Gelling was then jailed for 18 months in 2012, for battering the mother of his child and threatening to go ‘Raoul Moat’ on her if she told police.

By now 25 and with more than 70 convictions, he carried out a cowardly attack on his ex, while their two-year-old daughter was in the room.

Gelling later sent her a text message threatening to emulate the crazed gunman’s infamous rampage in 2010.

He told his petrified former partner: ‘When I get out I’ll f***ing Raoul Moat everyone you grass. I’m going to murder you if you don’t drop the charges.’

Gelling – earlier released from jail for beating up another ex – was convicted of breaching a court order, criminal damage, assault and intimidation.

He then hit the headlines again after scaling a 12ft dock to escape custody in 2014, which earned him the nickname the ‘Southport Spider-Man’.

Gelling punched his way through ceiling tiles at Sefton Magistrates’ Court, kicked a security guard in the chest then fled, sparking a four-week manhunt.

The then 27-year-old was finally arrested at a property in Bolton, when he told police he knew they were coming and ‘should have booked a hotel’.

Gelling admitted escaping from lawful custody, criminal damage and assault, but told officers he ‘didn’t care’ if the guard was injured.

The thug had also booted open a door with a secure lock, causing £2,500 of damage.

He was jailed for a year, consecutive to a five-month prison sentence he was already serving for attacking a landlord in a row over rent.


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