Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'I Didn't Mean to Hold the Traffic Up, I Actually Wanted to Commit Suicide' Family Deaths Drove Man to Top of Tyne Bridge

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'I Didn't Mean to Hold the Traffic Up, I Actually Wanted to Commit Suicide' Family Deaths Drove Man to Top of Tyne Bridge

Article excerpt

Byline: KATHRYN RIDDELL Reporter kathryn.riddell@reach.com @KathrynRiddell

A MAN who scaled the Tyne Bridge and was moments away from jumping has apologised to drivers who were caught up in the disruption.

The bridge had to be closed to traffic after Steven Blakey decided to climb up the structure at around 4pm on Saturday.

After suffering the loss of his newborn daughter 11 years ago and his father earlier this year, Steven said he was feeling suicidal when he went on to the bridge.

Emergency services including police, paramedics and three fire engines, were called to the scene to try to encourage Steven to come down and the bridge was closed to protect the public.

Long tailbacks formed in Newcastle and Gateshead on the approach to the bridge while Steven was spoken to.

He has now said sorry to the drivers who were caught up in the congestion.

"All I can do is apologise. When I actually realised what I had caused I apologised to the paramedics and said sorry for wasting your time."

He added: "I didn't mean to hold the traffic up, I actually wanted to commit suicide."

Once Steven came down from the bridge after around 50 minutes, he was arrested and charged with a public nuisance offence.

Appearing at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court on Monday, Steven pleaded guilty to the offence and was given a community order requiring him to stay away from the Tyne Bridge for six months.

He was also ordered to carry out rehabilitation activity for 25 days.

The 30-year-old, who is a dad to three daughters, said: "I just completely snapped.

"I rang the police and said 'My name's Steven Blakey, I'm going to the Tyne Bridge and I'm going to jump off it.' "I climbed straight up to the top arch and intended to jump into the water."

He added: "My first daughter Chanelle died in 2008. My head was all over, I was grieving. …

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