Sunderland man caused 999 alert after hanging from Wearmouth Bridge to do pull-ups

A full-scale rescue emergency was launched for a man doing pull-ups on Wearmouth Bridge – a court heard.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 10:40 am

Connor Beston, 21, admitted causing a public nuisance, by climbing over and hanging off the Wearmouth Bridge in August this year.

Fears he was attempting to commit suicide sparked a rescue alert involving police, fire service, ambulance crews and the coastguard.

But, Beston told probation services he was just doing pull-ups.

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Connor Beston, 21, admitted causing a public nuisance, by climbing over and hanging off the Wearmouth Bridge in August this year.

The defendant, who appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court for sentencing this week, also pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary at Vintage Vapes in Fawcett Street in October 2018, obstructing a police officer in March this year and possession of cannabis, which was found on him after the bridge incident.

Rachel Glover, prosecuting, said a member of staff at Vintage Vapes had locked up the shop at around 6pm on October 25 last year and got a call in the early hours of the morning saying the alarm was going off.

She said: “When he arrived he found the front shop window had been smashed.”

Ms Glover said at 1.15am the same morning a police officer was stopped by three males saying they had been assaulted. He was taking them to the hospital when it came over the radio about the shop break in.

Connor Beston hung from Wearmouth bridge to do pull-ups.

She said: “He realised the description matched the people who were sat in the back of his car.”

The defendant was searched and found to have some of the stolen vapes on him.

In total £2,549 worth of vapes had been stolen and £2,360 worth of damage caused to the shop.

Ms Glover said in March a police officer was in The Bridges when she heard about a robbery, she saw Beston and tried to talk to him about it. He ran off, but she caught up with him and he became aggressive and was arrested.

Then in August Beston was spotted by members of the public at Wearmouth Bridge.

She said: “He was hanging by his hands from the edge of the bridge, it was thought he as trying to commit suicide. Quite a lot of resources were used to get him off the bridge.”

Peter Thubron, defending, said the robbery incident was a year ago and since then his client has not carried out any crimes like that.

He said: “There was a serious drug problem and as he told the police he couldn’t remember anything about that.”

Mr Thubron said: “He was hanging from a bridge and that is not a very health position to be in, it looks like there are mental health issues. Locking him up is not going to help anyone.”

A spokesman for the probation service said Beston had been in local authority care from the age of two-years-old, both in foster homes and residential homes.

He said alcohol and drugs have been an issue.

He said: “He is trying to move away from negative influences.

“He tells me he was not trying to jump he was doing pull-ups on the bridge.”

Beston was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to the shop.