Two men in court over threats to jump off M32 bridges
TWO men accused of bringing Bristol to a standstill by threatening to jump off bridges over the M32 have appeared in court.
Shane Heyman, 31, and Nicky Hughes, 25, were charged with causing a public nuisance during unconnected incidents on consecutive days this week, at separate hearings at Bristol Magistrates' Court yesterday.
Heyman, of Victoria Parade, Redfield, pleaded guilty to the charge facing him.
Hughes, of no fixed abode, entered no plea.
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The court heard that Heyman caused traffic "chaos" on Tuesday as he stood on the wrong side of the barrier of a bridge over the carriageway at the St Paul's junction.
Prosecuting, Kelly Marshall said that when Heyman threatened to throw himself off he created "enormous disruption to the traffic system, leading to gridlock".
She added that disruption was caused to emergency services which were unable to attend other incidents at the time.
She also said that motorists had missed numerous meetings which had to be rescheduled.
Mitigating, David Fanson said that Heyman had mental health problems and had suffered from schizophrenia.
The court heard that he had stopped taking his medication, affecting his mood.
Mr Fanson said that Heyman lived with his wife of ten years and three children, aged two, seven and ten. The court heard that Heyman's wife told him: "I can't put up with it. You have to leave."
Mr Fanson added: "He thought 'that's it, I have had enough' before going to the bridge with the intention of taking his own life."
Mr Fanson said that Heyman now realised the trouble he caused.
"He wishes he could turn the clock back," he said.
Heyman has one previous conviction. Presiding magistrate Simon Brookes said: "We are concerned that this doesn't happen again."
Heyman replied: "I can assure you now, it's not going to happen again." He was released on unconditional bail and will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court again on October 11 after pre-sentence reports have been prepared.
Meanwhile, Hughes entered no plea to a charge of causing a public nuisance on Wednesday by climbing on the Gatton Street footbridge over the M32 and threatening to jump.
Kelly Marshall, prosecuting, asked for the case to be adjourned to give the police time to consider whether Hughes should face other charges relating to the incident.
Hughes was remanded in custody to appear in court again at a later date.