City man fined for jumping off bridge

Devil's Bridge.
Devil's Bridge.

A Lancaster man is thought to be the first person to be fined for jumping off Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale.

Michael Sharkey, of Gressingham Drive, was slapped with the £170 penalty for making the 30ft leap this summer.

The 24-year-old is among three people being prosecuted for the activity, which claimed a young man’s life in 2012.

A bylaw banning so-called ‘tombstoning’ has been in force on the 14th century monument since 1998.

The case against Mr Sharkey, and two other men from Rossendale, came about after patrols were stepped up in the area during a heatwave in July.

John Barwise, a neighbourhood enforcement officer for South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), said: “The prosecution sends out a clear message that SLDC and Cumbria Police will not tolerate the irresponsible actions of members of the public who contravene the bylaw and risk death or serious injury by jumping off the bridge.”

In July 2012, 22-year-old Darrell Teal, of Manchester, drowned after jumping from the bridge and passing out.

The bylaw gives courts powers to fine anyone found guilty of breaching it up to £500.

Police said more patrols would be done next summer.