A man has been jailed for two years for causing a public nuisance after bringing the M1 motorway in Leicestershire to a complete standstill for 28 hours.
45-year-old Nicholas Muton, of no fixed abode, climbed up a gantry over the southbound M1 on Sunday 12 June, and stayed there for 28 hours – resulting in police closing the motorway for that time.
Nearly 100,000 vehicles are believed to have been hit by the closure, costing the national economy an estimated £28 million. The traffic was particularly bad as festival-goers left Download, held that weekend at nearby Donington Park.
Traffic bad in NW Leicestershire as Download empties and M1 closed due to guy perched on overhead sign pic.twitter.com/9FqXid74Zu
— Jon in Ashby (@joninashby) June 13, 2016
A number of holidaymakers also complained about missing flights from East Midlands airport.
Sentencing, Judge Adrienne Lucking QC said diversions caused four and a half hour delays for motorists.
The court heard that Muton’s actions were in protest against the police, following a number of complaints he’d made over recent years – including one which was still outstanding.
In 2007, he was arrested for threatening to jump off a bridge over the M1, after he which he claimed he was tasered in custody.
Judge Lucking said Muton’s protest was “a childish response to your beef with the police.”
She added: “Your actions affected not only the economy but the personal lives of other people.
“You knew it had the capacity to cause personal distress to other people who had nothing to do with any of your issues with the police.”
He pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court this morning before being sentenced to two years in prison.