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Man who free climbed The Shard after visiting it on 200 scouting missions caged

A 20-year-old free climber who scaled The Shard in London has been sentenced to six months in a young offenders' institution.

George King-Thompson has admitted breaching a High Court injunction when he climbed the skyscraper- one of the tallest buildings in Europe – this July.

The 20-year-old, from Oxford, climbed the 310-metre (1,017ft) building from the ground floor to near the very top in just 45 minutes.

London Bridge Station was briefly closed and King-Thompson later received a police caution after he was spotted on the side of the skyscraper at around 5am on July 8.

Teighmore Limited – the owners of The Shard – brought legal proceedings against him for breaching an injunction designed to deter trespassers, which was made by the High Court last year.

King-Thompson appeared at a hearing in London on Monday to admit being in contempt of court.

Imposing an immediate custodial sentence, Mr Justice Murray said King-Thompson's breach of the order was "deliberate and knowing" and that "he would have walked past at least 10 copies" of the order during his climb.

The judge added that "iconic buildings are sometimes the targets of terrorists", and that "information regarding ways into and around the building" could increase the risk to people living and working inside.

Sentencing King-Thompson to six months in a young offenders institution, he said that "despite his young age and previous good character, it is not a sentence I am able to suspend".

King-Thompson, wearing a blue tie, white shirt and red shirt, showed no emotion as he was handcuffed and led away to the cells of the Royal Courts of Justice. 

David Forsdick QC, representing Teighmore, earlier told the court that King-Thompson had spent around eight months planning his climb, had moved to east London "specifically to prepare" and visited The Shard up to 200 times, sometimes wearing disguises.

Mr Forsdick submitted that King-Thompson "knew of The Shard injunction" and "consciously and deliberately did what he knew was a breach of it, knowing that that could result in imprisonment".

In his written case, Mr Forsdick said that King-Thompson "recognised that the climb was illegal" by using the hashtag "rooftopillegal" when posting a video of the climb on Instagram .

He added that the climb was a "highly dangerous trespass, both to him and potentially to members of the emergency services and the public if he had fallen".

Philip McGhee, for King-Thompson, told the court: "He wishes to make an unreserved apology for his actions, and that is an apology to the court first and foremost."

He added that King-Thompson also wished to repeat his earlier apology to any commuters who might have been "inconvenienced" by London Bridge Station being closed, and to the police and ambulance services which attended The Shard.

He explained that King-Thompson had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that, when he was "meticulously preparing and planning" the climb, he developed "almost an obsessive focus on the detail".

He said his client is "not in this for fame or notoriety, whatever might be thought by some", and that he had "laudable aims" to "inspire others".


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