Monday, May 18, 2009

RF4J UK ~ Fathers' rights campaigner in court

Anderton spent two days on the Tyne Bridge.

Anderton spent two days on the Tyne Bridge.

Published Date:
18 May 2009
A FATHERS' rights campaigner who spent more than two days on top of the Tyne Bridge was trying to create massive public disruption, a court heard.

Simon Anderton, 49, climbed to the top of the iconic Newcastle bridge in the early hours of Father's Day on June 15 last year, before tying a 12kg dummy with its head in a noose from the arch of the bridge.

He spent two days on the bridge before being talked down by police negotiators.

He was arrested and charged with attempting to cause a public nuisance and causing a danger to road users.

At the start of his trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Carl Gumsley, prosecuting, said Anderton was an activist member of the real Fathers for Justice and carried out the stunt to highlight the "failures in inequities" in the family court system.

Mr Gumsley said Anderton was aiming to create massive public disruption and wanted to close the bridge to get his message across.

"The Tyne Bridge is one of the most iconic and recognisable symbols in the north east," said Mr Gumsley.

"But it is much more than that, it is one of the main roads across the Tyne.

"The prosecution don't suggest that Simon Anderton doesn't believe in his cause. Everything suggests he believes in it passionately.

"But this is not what this case is about.

"This case does not seek and does not want to examine the merits of his cause.

"His actions are on trial, not his beliefs.

"This case is brought because in seeking to establish his cause this defendant acted in a way which created what must have been an obvious danger to other road users."

Anderton, from Melbon Terrace, Heaton, Newcastle, denies the charges against him and the trial continues.

The full article contains 301 words and appears in n/a newspaper.
Page 1 of 1

Real Fathers For Justice campaigner 'risked lives'

A FATHERS’ rights campaigner risked the lives of drivers and pedestrians during a 62-hour-stand off on top of the Tyne bride, a jury heard today.

Simon Anderton scaled the city’s most iconic structure at dawn, choosing June 15 last year, Father’s Day, to begin his protest.

The 49-year-old, who described himself as an activist with the Real Fathers For Justice group, had hoped to cause massive disruption by closing the bridge, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

Instead, police took the "difficult" decision to keep it open to traffic but not pedestrians, the court heard.

Anderton warned an expert police negotiator he would step up his protest unless the bridge was closed, it was claimed.

And he hung a mannequin from the structure in a chilling mock suicide, the jury heard.

"In seeking to establish his cause, in seeking to publicise what he personally thought was the right thing, he sought, attempted and intended to affect so many others," said Carl Gumsley, prosecuting.

"In doing so, his actions created what must have been an obvious danger to any body else by hanging that mannequin over the road."

When Anderton, from Meldon Terrace, Heaton, Newcastle, finally came down the mannequin was weighed at 12.5 kilos, the court heard.

"Were it to have fallen it would have been travelling in the region of 40 to 45mph when it may have well have hit either a pedestrian or car crossing," Mr Gumsley said.

"Hanging that mannequin would, quite obviously to a reasonable person, constitute and create a danger."

Anderton denies attempting to cause a public nuisance by disrupting traffic on the bridge and causing a danger to road users.

During interviews after his arrest, he told police he had scaled the bridge to make a point and claimed the family court system and not him was to blame for any disruption.

But Mr Gumsley told the jury: "This case does not seek and does not want to examine the merits or otherwise of his cause. His actions are what are on trial."

Anderton had begun his protests at 5am on Father’s Day, climbing on to the top of the bridge.

"His attempt was to have the bridge closed and cause massive disruption to the public," Mr Gumsley said.

The case continues.

No comments:

The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie