‘French spiderman’ barred from climbing any UK buildings

‘For me now I’m really done in the UK,’ says stuntman fined £5,500

Adam Forrest
Saturday 27 October 2018 18:08
French 'spiderman' Alain Robert, tackles latest climb at Heron Tower in London

A stuntman dubbed the “French Spiderman” has been banned from climbing any building in Britain after scaling one of London’s tallest towers.

Alain Robert climbed Heron Tower in the City of London on Thursday, forcing police to set up a safety cordon and stop traffic in the area.

The 56-year-old French national was sentenced to 20 weeks suspended for two years and ordered to pay £5,500 compensation to the City of London Police after he pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance.

City of London Magistrates' Court also banned Mr Robert from scaling the outside of any building in the UK.

Chairman of the bench, Edward McMullan, said: “You are demonstrably an accomplished climber but there is always the danger that your actions could be imitated by those less proficient, with potentially fatal consequences.”

On the way up. Alain Robert reached the top of the 202-metre skyscraper in 40 minutes

Mr Robert reached the top of the 662ft (202m) building, now known as the Salesforce Tower, in around 45 minutes on Thursday afternoon.

When Mr Robert was arrested at the top of the tower he immediately handed officers his passport and the number of his lawyer.

Commander Karen Baxter from the City of London Police said the stunt had “wasted a considerable amount of police time as well as that of the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service, leaving them unable to respond to genuine emergencies".

Speaking outside court, Mr Robert said the sentencing had been quite “quite scary” and vowed to abide by the court ban on UK building climbs.

“For me now I’m really done in the UK,” he told reporters.

A former rock climber, the Frenchman turned his attention to skyscrapers in the mid-1990s.

He has scaled 160 to date, including the Burj Khalifa, Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House.

Defence lawyer Adeela Khan said Mr Robert had “no intention or foresight” of the disruption he could cause.

She said: “He has won awards for this sort of climbing - he perceived the risk of falling to be either non-existent or very minimal.

“The general reaction of the public was extremely positive."

She admitted that there was “some commercial motivation" because of a sponsored T-shirt he was wearing.