Lowestoft climbers banned from scaling structures share their photos
PUBLISHED: 08:20 17 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:54 17 March 2016
A group of “explorers”, who have climbed numerous high-rise buildings, cranes and even a wind turbine to capture often unseen views, have been banned from scaling structures across England and Wales.
The four men had climbed buildings in the Lowestoft area to take photographs and film themselves. But after carrying out the dangerous stunts – which included hanging off the side of the town’s high-rise tower block and parachuting off one of the wind turbines at Kessingland – police took action against them.
Last week the four men, all from Waveney, were given criminal behaviour orders after being found guilty of causing alarm and distress to residents following a spate of incidents.
The men – Matthew Adams, 23, of Raglan Street, Lowestoft; Javier Centeno-Gomez, 24, of Benacre Road, Ellough; Daniel Batchelor, 26, of Newark Road in Lowestoft; and a 17-year-old boy also from Lowestoft, who cannot be named for legal reasons – pleaded guilty to a section five public order offence of disorderly behaviour.
They appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court last Thursday – where the court saw footage of them taken from their own head cameras. This included images of two of the group lowering themselves over the edge of the roof and hanging off the side of St Peter’s Court in Lowestoft – 15 storeys above the ground on the town’s high-rise tower block. They also filmed themselves climbing on a large crane that has been in the middle of town as work is carried out at Clapham Road and there was footage of one of the men parachuting from the wind turbine at Kessingland.
They were fined a total of £205 each, including costs and a victim surcharge, and were each given a criminal behaviour order for two years.
But last night, they vowed that they would continue their “passion” of climbing and capturing special views abroad.
Evidence gathered by police showed they had repeatedly carried out the activity and had been posting footage on the internet. Speaking after the case, acting Supt Paul Bradford said the criminal behaviour order was “a reflection of the significant risks” that the group – and the public – faced. He said: “We had no alternative but to take action due to the extreme danger of their actions. As was pointed out during sentencing, they may have fallen and not only killed themselves, but innocent people on the ground. Footage showed them hanging off St Peter’s Court with public areas directly underneath including, in one instance, the main entrance to the residential block, and those witnessing the activity would have been understandably alarmed by their behaviour.”
Last night, Adams said: “I was inspired to do this after learning about different styles and I wanted to find my own style as an artist, so I visited derelict buildings and then began climbing. I would describe myself as an artist and a photographer, although it is kind of hard to describe it exactly. Maybe it would be more accurate to describe myself as an explorer who documents and takes photographs of what he sees.”
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