Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 12:37 UK

Police to use 'tombstone' video

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Sonny Wells and his family talk about the 'stupid' moment at the Southsea pier

A BBC film about a 20-year-old who was left paralysed when he jumped from a Hampshire pier is to be used by police to warn children of the dangers.

Sonny Wells warned others not to follow him into a wheelchair through a practice known as "tombstoning".

The former soldier from Waterlooville faces a bleak future after leaping from Southsea's South Parade Pier into 1m (3ft) deep water last month.

Hampshire police said it would use the video at schools in the area.

Pc Wendy Steward said: "I thought that anybody watching that couldn't have failed to be moved.

'Stupid act'

"This is a young man who is a bit of a risk taker, many parents will see that character maybe in their own child, and this is a message to prevent this happening.

"It is going to allow teachers to teach in a very visual way."

Sonny Wells
A remorseful Sonny Wells admits the leap was a "stupid" act

She hoped schools would be showing the video at assemblies before the summer break.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Wells admitted it was a "stupid" act but has vowed not to dwell on his actions.

"Looking back I feel stupid for doing it. But at the end of the day you cannot keep looking back," he said.

He had to be dragged from the water unconscious and was airlifted by helicopter to Southampton General Neurological Unit.

There, he has undergone an operation where bone was taken from his hip to stabilise his neck.

Remorse of paralysed 'tombstoner'
17 Jun 08 |  Hampshire
Photo shows injured 'tombstoner'
15 May 08 |  Hampshire
Pier jumper 'may not walk again'
13 May 08 |  Hampshire
Officers probe man's pier plunge
12 May 08 |  Hampshire
Man injured in 'tombstoning dive'
11 May 08 |  Hampshire

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