Portsmouth risk-taker defends decision to dangle off M275 crane

Michael Dearing, the daredevil on the top of the crane off the M275 in Portsmouth.
Michael Dearing, the daredevil on the top of the crane off the M275 in Portsmouth.
Picture: Fareham Fire Station on Twitter

UPDATE: Picture shows damage after car flips on to roof on M27

  • Risk-taker insists he’s not a bad role model despite criticism
  • Says he would not have climbed crane off M275 if ‘risk was too great’
  • But Hampshire police label actions ‘irresponsible’ and ‘stupid’
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THE man who created a storm after he risked his life dangling from a crane taking ‘selfies’ has hit back at critics who say he is a bad role model.

Former Oaklands Catholic School pupil Michael Dearing was this week revealed to be the daredevil spotted hanging hundreds of feet up in the air from the huge structure off the M275.

I am regularly out and about in town, and I see what kids of today are up to, and in my opinion, it is much more dangerous that what I have done.

Daredevil Michael Dearing

The 23-year-old, who lives in Portsmouth, uploaded images of himself holding on by his fingertips – while taking photographs of the amazing feats using a selfie stick.

Hampshire Constabulary say it appears no crime has been committed as he is not endangering the life of others – though the owner of the land John Henry Pounds and the crane firm could take up a civil claim for trespass.

But the force labelled his actions ‘irresponsible’ and ‘stupid’.

In a letter to The News, Mr Dearing said: ‘I would not have climbed this crane if I thought the risk was great enough to lose my life.

‘I studied the crane and the weather on that day, there was no wind, no rain, and it was incredibly clear. I walked through the front gates to the scrapyard.

‘I did not break or steal anything and had no intention to do so, I just wanted a picture.’

He added: ‘People are saying I’m a bad role model, I disagree.

‘I’m a qualified carpenter, I’ve completed an apprenticeship, and have been a tradesman for seven years.

‘In this time, I’ve brought a property, fixed it up and sold it on, and am living in my second home which I own.

‘I don’t think that is too bad for someone who is 23 and has achieved all this all on my own.

‘I would like people to see how I work very hard which has led me to this.

‘I am regularly out and about in town, and I see what kids of today are up to, and in my opinion, it is much more dangerous than what I have done.’

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: ‘Whilst this man may not be committing criminal offences, it is a pretty stupid and irresponsible thing to do, and we would urge him to stop doing it before he comes to harm.’

Cllr Colin Galloway, Ukip group leader, said: ‘He may think he is doing this for himself, but it is still getting the emergency services involved.

‘That’s seriously irresponsible.’