By Connor Steel
APPEARING at Portsmouth Magistrates Court, a man has pleaded guilty to causing Bank Holiday chaos in a ‘serious incident’ that saw him climb onto a bridge over the M27.
It closed the motorway for nearly four hours as commuters attempted to begin their long weekend journeys last week.
Police were called at approxiately 3.30pm on Friday, August 27, after reports of a “concern for welfare” as a man was seen on the wrong side of the parapet, quickly closing the M27 between Junction 8 (Bursledon/Hamble) and Junction 9 (Segensworth/Fareham) in both directions.
The road reopened just before 7.30pm after negotiations.
Nearby towns saw queues of traffic despite a diversion route on the A27, which was only worsened by the Friday rush hour and increased road use as people set-off for their Bank Holiday weekend break. This disruption particularly affected vehicles on the eastbound carriageway. They were stranded for hours in warm weather with no diversion available.
Paramedics, police and mental health support were also at the scene, with a successful outcome as the man came down from the bridge unharmed before being arrested on suspicion of causing a danger to road users. After health assessments and further questioning, the man was named by Hampshire Police after he was charged on Monday evening.
Dean Williams, aged 28, of no fixed abode, appeared in court on Tuesday morning where he admitted the offence. In response the incident was described as serious with both psychiatric and probation reports ordered in preparation for his next appearance on October 19. It has yet to be decided whether the case will be held in the magistrates or crown court, which depends on the assessments and future reports.
Meanwhile, Mr Williams is reported to be receiving support from a GP, getting regular food packages and staying with a relative in Park Gate since being released on bail.
Hampshire Police have asked residents not to speculate on the circumstances following debates on social media, while also reaffirming that support is available for anyone struggling to cope. This includes the Samaritans on 116 123 and Solent Mind.
(Stock Image – Traffic builds on M27)