Forth Bridge ‘Spiderman’ Jailed

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By Alexander Lawrie

A REAL-LIFE ‘Spiderman’ who caused traffic mayhem after climbing almost 400 feet up the Forth Road Bridge has been jailed.

Ross Wilson, 22, took a taxi from his Edinburgh home to the world-famous landmark especially to climb it.

But stunned staff called in the cops after he told them he had a drink problem before leaping the fence, clambering up wire cables and perching himself on the North Tower – 500ft above the Firth of Forth.

The crossing was closed for over an hour – causing massive tailbacks – before he was eventually coaxed down and arrested.

Wilson pleaded guilty to culpable and reckless behaviour at Dunfermline Sheriff Court and yesterday a sheriff labelled his antics as a “mass inconvenience”.

The court previously heard how the boozed-up plumber had taken a taxi from his home in the Portobello area of Edinburgh on January 8 after making plans to climb the bridge.

He was dropped off at the north end of the bridge and was questioned by concerned staff over his erratic behaviour as he stood on the path.

But staff were stunned when he complained “I have a drink problem and no-one can help me” before jumping the fence and scampering up to the North Tower.

Wilson even had to scale a 50ft metal fence above the carriageway – which was designed to stop similar daredevil stunts – in his dangerous ascent.

Police were alerted around 11pm and Wilson’s antics closed the bridge for more than an hour before he miraculously made his own way down unharmed.

After climbing down from the bridge Wilson proceeded to run along the carriageway before police caught up with him and arrested him.

Yesterday, Wilson’s solicitor Chris Sneddon told the court that his client had recently been paid off,  and that he had no intentions of harming himself.

He said the episode was a “cry for help” rather than an attempt to take his own life.

But Sheriff Craig McSherry was unsympathetic and told Wilson he had no option but to jail him.

“This was a very serious breach of the peace and this court has to take into account public safety. It was an ongoing incident where you deliberately chose to behave as you did. Given the mass inconvenience you caused, I must impose a custodial sentence of seven months.”

 A spokesperson for the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) said: “This young man put his own life in danger and caused a great deal of disruption to others. It was only thanks to the vigilance of bridge staff and the prompt action of police that nobody was killed or seriously injured.

“We welcome the firm line that has been taken – this sentence will hopefully serve as a deterrent to others.”

Outside court, Wilson’s friend Paul Robinson said: “I think the sentence was very harsh. He’s a nice guy who has just had a few problems recently. He really didn’t deserve this.”