Sutton man in court for sparking A61 closure

POLICE closed a dual carriageway while they dealt with a Sutton man sitting on a ledge 40ft above the road, a court was told on Wednesday.

Officers had seen David McHugh (22) punch a man during a 2am bust-up in Chesterfield town centre. He then ran down an alleyway.

“An officer gave chase and he jumped over a wall and became stuck in some bushes above the A61 Chesterfield bypass.

“He was hanging by his hands but he pulled himself up and sat on the ledge with one leg dangling above the road,” prosecutor Peter Bettney told Chesterfield magistrates.

Police decided to close the road as McHugh posed a danger to himself and traffic. He refused to budge, saying he would rather throw himself onto the road.

An officer believed he was the worse for drink. After 15 minutes he was persuaded to move back and he was arrested.

McHugh accepted he had struck someone before running off. He heard footsteps behind him and was scared and jumped over a wall.

“He said he then realised he had been followed by a police officer. He didn’t want to be ragged about and fall onto the road, so he didn’t come down.

“He said he hadn’t threatened to kill himself. He meant he would jump and keep on running but he realised it wasn’t a short drop,” added Mr Bettney.

McHugh, of Vere Avenue, Sutton, told police the offence was going to wreck his plans to join the forces.

He admitted causing a public nuisance on 22nd January by sitting on the edge of a wall and causing traffic to be stopped.

He was fined £215, with £85 costs, by the justices, who said he had caused disruption to a lot of people by behaviour that was ‘stupid and no doubt alcohol-fuelled’.

Steve Brint, for McHugh, said he stepped into a dispute because he thought his brother was going to be attacked. He was then confronted by a man and he panicked and ran.

“When I jumped over the wall I didn’t realise there was a big drop. I was looking down at a 40ft drop and the officer was trying to reach me.

“I was worried that in arresting me I might be pushed off the edge and I wanted to get down by myself,” McHugh told the court.

He added that he worked for a garage booking cars in for MOT tests and hoped to join the Marines.