Man causes chaos after trying to fly drone from Severn Bridge for Instagram video
21 February 2019, 17:25 | Updated: 21 February 2019, 19:19
A man caused chaos on the M48 after climbing a tower of the Severn Bridge and attempting to fly a drone from it, a court has heard.
Alexandru Scutaru, 30, was trying to take photographs of the surrounding area by launching his GoPro drone from the bridge, which connects England and Wales.
Both carriageways were closed for around 20 minutes, leaving more than 100 vehicles stranded, after bridge officials spotted Scutaru and alerted police.
Bristol Magistrates' Court heard the factory worker quickly climbed down from the tower after noticing traffic had stopped.
He jumped down part of the way and broke ligaments in his foot.
The court heard Scutaru, who lives in Northampton, had travelled to Bristol to fly his GoPro drone around the area.
The device would not take off so he decided to launch it from the tower instead.
Prosecutor Nicole Miebai said he had suffered from vertigo and was "frightened to come down" from the bridge.
She said he would post videos on Instagram and enjoyed views of the English countryside.
District Judge David Taylor said Scutaru would have faced an immediate prison sentence if he had used his drone.
He described the factory worker's actions as "stupid" and "selfish" and said they were motivated by wanting to post on social media.
"You took extraordinary risks with your own safety and in doing so placed yourself high above the carriageway in a way that many people would be alarmed to see," the judge said.
Scutaru's lawyer said he had not thought about the consequences of climbing the bridge and had not deliberately distracted traffic.
The factory worker apologised outside court to motorists kept waiting as the road was closed.
"I am so sorry, I didn't want to be a problem," he said.
"I made a mistake. I climbed the bridge to see a beautiful view.
"It was not for Instagram, it was for me."
The judge ordered for the drone to be destroyed and imposed a community order and curfew for 16 weeks.
Scutaru will also have to pay £85 in prosecution costs and a £85 victim surcharge.
He said he hoped to buy a new drone to continue taking photographs, adding that he would not climb a bridge in the UK again.