A man stopped traffic on the York Outer Ring Road for 40 minutes after going onto a bridge over the carriageways, a court heard.

Wayne Allen, 33, had called the police and told them what he planned to do on Naburn Bridge near the Fulford A19/A64 interchange, said Martin Butterworth, prosecuting.

During a 40-minute standoff with police - which stopped traffic in both directions - he was drinking from cans of alcohol.

Defence solicitor Chris McGrogan said Allen was still grieving after the death of his sister three years earlier.  He had not had any bereavement counselling and was using alcohol to cope, the court heard.

“This man, for quite a period of time, has been crying out for help,” said the solicitor, adding that this was not a criticism of any organisation or person in particular.

He was an “isolated” man who had very little communication with other people in his daily life.

Since the incident in the early hours of October 31, he had sought out and was now getting support.

Allen, of Glenside Avenue, Tang Hall, pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance by obstructing the right of the public to use the A64.

York magistrates praised his efforts in dealing with his problems and made him subject to a 12-month community order with 25 days’ rehabilitation.

They also fined him £40 and ordered him to pay a £114 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs. He lives in benefits.

Mr Butterworth said Allen rang 999 early on Hallowe’en and told police he was on his way to Naburn Bridge.

When police arrived and saw his behaviour, traffic was stopped in both carriageways for 40 minutes.

Eventually, officers on the bridge managed to arrest Allen. They took him first to York Hospital and then to police custody.

He was in breach of a conditional discharge and his most recent convictions related to offences involving alcohol.

Mr McGrogan said Allen had a “significant number” of problems including his use of alcohol and mental health issues.

Since the bridge incident, he had got a support worker and contacted CRUSE Bereavement Care. He had also been referred by his GP to the community mental health team.

“It is hoped these three strands of support will be able to help him and ensure he is able to deal with the problems and issues he has suffered from,” said Mr McGrogan. It is quite clear he does have issues and problems.”

Although he did use alcohol to help him cope with problems, Allen was not an alcoholic, nor did he have drug problems, the court was told.

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