'Urban explorers' banned from climbing manmade structures

Matthew Adams Image copyright Matthew Adams
Image caption Matthew Adams, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, disputed whether they put lives at risk

Four so-called "urban explorers" who scaled buildings in Lowestoft have been banned from climbing manmade structures in England and Wales.

Police took action against Matthew Adams, Daniel Batchelor, Javier Centeno-Gomez and a 17-year-old youth, all from Suffolk, after concerns were raised.

The four pleaded guilty to a public order offence of threatening behaviour.

They were each fined £100 and banned from climbing manmade buildings.

Image copyright Matthew Adams
Image caption Police said they feared the climbers "may have fallen and not only killed themselves but innocent passers-by on the ground"

Police said Adams, 23, of Raglan Street, Batchelor, 26, of Newark Road and a 17-year-old boy, all from Lowestoft, and Centeno-Gomez, 24, of Benacre Road, Ellough, near Beccles.

They were prosecuted following reports of a number of incidents where men were reported to be climbing on structures around Lowestoft.

The ban, which is active for two years, prohibits the four from climbing any structure more than 3m above the ground, unless it is specifically designed to be climbed, or unless they have written permission of the structure's owner and safety equipment is used.

Officers showed footage to court from the quartet's head cameras, including images of two of the group lowering themselves over the edge of the roof and hanging off the side of St Peters Court in the town - 15 storeys above the ground.

It also showed one of them parachuting from the wind turbine at Kessingland.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said the threatening behaviour offence relates to them causing alarm and distress to residents of Lowestoft through their climbing and posting footage of their exploits on the internet.

"Police felt they 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 passers-by on the ground," he said.

Image copyright Matthew Adams
Image caption Adams has scaled building across the country and Europe

Adams disputed whether they put lives at risk.

"What people don't understand is that we put a lot of training into this. I accept what I am doing is dangerous, but we prepare for it and we don't encourage other people to do it," he said.

The four appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court on 10 March, where they all pleaded guilty.

They were also ordered to pay £20 victim compensation and £85 costs.

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