Py­lon climber: Sorry for traf­fic chaos but it was a cry for help

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

AMAN who brought the town to a stand­still when he climbed to the top of a 120ft py­lon has apol­o­gised for the chaos it caused, but says he doesn’t re­gret his ac­tions.

Wayne Boyd, 36, scaled an elec­tric­ity py­lon be­tween Mid­dle­wood Way and the Silk Road near to As­traZeneca at Hurds­field, caus­ing traf­fic chaos for morn­ing com­muters.

Around 20 emer­gency ve­hi­cles at­tended, the elec­tric­ity was switched off and po­lice had to call in a ne­go­tia­tor to talk him down.

When Mr Boyd was per­suaded to climb down four hours later, he was ar­rested and was later given a 12 week sus­pended prison sen­tence for caus­ing a pub­lic nui­sance by Mac­cles­field mag­is­trates.

Mr Boyd told the Ex­press his ac­tions were a protest at the men­tal health sup­port and care he has re­ceived. He’s had is­sues with de­pres­sion as far back as a teenager and 10 years ago started drink­ing heav­ily.

Mr Boyd lived at a drug re­cov­ery ser­vice run by Adul­lam Homes on Mill Lane in Mac­cles­field un­til a few months ago.

He says climb­ing the py­lon was a last-ditch at­tempt to get ser­vice providers to recog­nise the help he needs.

Mr Boyd, who now lives on Grimshaw Av­enue in Bolling­ton, said: “I’m sorry for the chaos I caused that day, but I’m not sorry for the rea­sons I had for climb­ing up there.

“I’d had enough and thought they are go­ing to lis­ten to me. I felt so let down by men­tal health ser­vices.

“When I was up there I could hear the crack­ling of the lines and lis­tened to Pink Floyd as I watched the sun­rise.

“I was scared of heights but had a sense of calm.”

Mr Boyd has taken other protests over men­tal health pro­vi­sion over the years, in­clud­ing post­ing ban­ners around Mac­cles­field and buy­ing the c h e s h i r e e a s t . c o. u k do­main name to post con­cerns.

The dad of two, who vol­un­teers with Cheshire Street­wise at Elim Church, in Mac­cles­field said he be­came un­well with a busy job as an elec­tron­ics en­gi­neer look­ing af­ter his young fam­ily.

He said: “I was men­tally ex­hausted and ev­ery­thing started to fall apart. I started drink­ing to feel bet­ter but it led to chaotic be­hav­iour. I’m not drink­ing any more. I be­came an­gry with so­cial ser­vices and didn’t feel I be­longed at Adul­lam [sup­ported hous­ing]. There’s not enough un­der­stand­ing of the men­tal health is­sues be­hind peo­ple’s drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion. The sys­tem needs a com­plete over­haul.”

A spokesper­son for Adul­lam said: “It would not be ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment on one in­di­vid­ual.

“This ser­vice is staffed by ded­i­cated and car­ing pro­fes­sion­als who sup­port res­i­dents to­wards inde- pen­dent liv­ing with great suc­cess. The is­sues raised by Mr Boyd have been thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated both in­ter­nally and by the ex­ter­nal com­mis­sioner and have been found to be un­sub­stan­ti­ated.”

Cheshire East coun­cil said they were un­able to re­spond to his crit­i­cism of men­tal health ser­vices.

●● Wayne Boyd was protest­ing about his men­tal health treat­ment

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