Oxford

Shard climber says prison 'won't extinguish spirit'

George King-Thompson and family Image copyright DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS
Image caption George King-Thompson hugged family members as he walked out of HMP Pentonville

A free-solo climber who was jailed for scaling London's Shard building unaided has been released from prison.

George King-Thompson served 12 weeks of a six-month sentence for climbing the 1,017ft (310m) skyscraper, one of Europe's tallest buildings, in July

The 20-year-old said prison was "tough" but he "didn't for one minute feel sorry for myself (or) feel bad".

King-Thompson had admitted being in contempt of court when he appeared at the High Court in October.

After scaling The Shard, King-Thompson, from Oxford, was given a police caution but the building's owners began legal proceedings against him for breaching an injunction.

Image copyright INSTAGRAM/@powers.of.passion
Image caption George King-Thompson admitted being in breach of an injunction designed to deter trespassers

As he walked free from HMP Pentonville and embraced his family, he said prison "is enough to deter people" from climbing, but later added he would "never let adversity extinguish my spirit".

Urban climber Alain Robert, nicknamed the "French Spiderman", also greeted King-Thompson and said it was "totally unfair that they put him in jail".

King-Thompson told a reporters he was "banged up" in his cell for 22 hours a day.

Image copyright DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS
Image caption George King-Thompson was greeted by famous free-climber Alain Robert outside of Pentonville prison

He said: "It's a tough place. On my first day I got a notice through my door saying somebody had died - regularly seeing stabbings, attempted suicides.

"The jail's infested with rats, cockroaches and mice but it is a fascinating place as well, there's a use for every item.

"I had everything under control, it's all about adapting to the environment."

London Bridge Station was briefly closed when King-Thompson took 45 minutes to make the free-solo climb - without ropes or protective equipment - at about 05:00 BST on 8 July.

During the High Court hearing last year, David Forsdick QC, representing Teighmore Construction Ltd, said King-Thompson "knew of The Shard injunction" and "recognised that the climb was illegal" by using the hashtag "rooftopillegal" when he posted a video of his efforts.

Image caption King-Thompson, seen here during a previous climb, had not been seeking "fame or notoriety", the court heard

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