Depressed dad sparked motorway chaos

A MAN whose protest against the Child Support Agency sparked motorway chaos has walked free from court.

Marcus King spent four hours perched on the outside ledge of a footbridge crossing the M6 near, Preston.

Both sections of the motorway were shut by police, as well as part of the Blackpool-bound M55. At the height of the chaos queues stretched from Cumbria to Merseyside.

Preston Crown Court heard police negotiators were brought in to the scene on August 19 last year.

King lit barbecues at both ends of the footbridge. After four hours he was eventually persuaded to give up.

King, 39, of Broadgate, Preston, pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance.

He was given 39 weeks prison, suspended for two years, with two years supervision.

He indicated he had a problem with the CSA he wanted to draw attention to.

Daniel King, defending, said the main underlying factor was the CSA had informed the defendant he owed more than 15,000.

Judge Michael Byrne said spending four hours on the outside railings of the bridge had been extremely dangerous and perilous.

The defendant had been suffering from a depressive disorder, the judge added.