TWO men have been sentenced after causing widespread disruption across the South-East when they dangerously climbed the QEII Bridge at the Dartford Crossing.
Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker began climbing the bridge stanchions in the early hours of 17 October last year.
The men then eventually climbed to about 200ft above the water and remained suspended over the carriageways. Their actions led to the bridge being closed for 41 hours.
They stated their actions were in protest, but those actions caused disruption to hundreds of thousands of a people on the M25 and surrounding roads, many of whom lost out on salary, missed significant family occasions or could not access medical help when it was urgently needed.
Both men were removed from the bridge by specially trained officers on the afternoon of 18 October.
Officers had trained on a specialist raised platform at a nearby fire station before it was brought to the bridge.
Once they were safe, both men were arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance and subsequently charged.
They denied the charges but were found guilty of the offence at Southend Crown Court.
They appeared at the same court today, Friday 21 April, to be sentenced.
Trowland, 40, of Drummond Way, Islington, and Decker, 34, of no fixed address, were sentenced to three years and two years and seven months respectively.
Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe, who oversaw our investigation, said: “Trowland and Decker’s actions were completely unacceptable. They were dangerous and they were incredibly disruptive.
“We know they saw their actions as protest – they were not. They caused danger and disruption to many.
“Thankfully, our specially trained officers were able bring the incident to a safe conclusion.”
DCI Metcalfe added: “I would also like to thank everyone involved in this investigation – from those officers who worked at a dangerous height to bring both men down, to the dedicated team of investigators who were responsible for building the overwhelmingly strong case against both men.
“I have seen first-hand the tireless work that the team has put in to secure these convictions. Their work to secure justice simply cannot be underestimated.”