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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 May, 2004, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Crane protester 'aware of chaos'
Tower Bridge
Police closed Tower Bridge and surrounding roads
A man was fully aware he would cause chaos by climbing a 150ft crane in central London and staying there for six days, a court has been told.

David Chick, from West Sussex, took charge of the crane in a protest at Tower Bridge over rights for fathers.

A car rental firm was forced to retrieve vehicles from around London because of the disruption.

At Southwark Crown Court Mr Chick, 37, has denied a charge of causing a public nuisance in November 2003.

But prosecutor Anthony Wilcken said Mr Chick knew exactly what he was doing because he had climbed another crane five months earlier and had to be talked down.

Nobody knew anything other than somebody in a Spiderman uniform had climbed the crane and posed an unknown threat
Anthony Wilcken, prosecuting
The jury was told that no-one knew whether Mr Chick, of The Ridgeway, Burgess Hill, might be mentally ill and likely to throw himself, or other items, off the crane.

"Nobody knew anything other than somebody in a Spiderman uniform had climbed the crane, put up some banners and posed an unknown threat," said Mr Wilcken.

There was also a danger he might slip off the crane's arm and hit someone else on the way down, the court heard.

A specialist police climbing team was called in to speak to him and assess his physical and mental condition.

But he made it clear he was staying put and would only come down when he thought it "fit to do so", the court was told.

Mr Chick remained "indifferent" to the effect his protest was having, the court heard.

"All he was interested in was to be provided with batteries for his phone, coffees, cigarettes and the like," said Mr Wilcken.

The trial continues.

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